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Smartphoned Tourists in the Phygital Tourist Experience


Summary, in English

The present thesis explores how the tourist experience is re-articulated through the mediation of smartphones. I adopt the postphenomenological theory of mediation as the overarching ontological position, placing the role of technologies on an ontological level, as mediators of perception and experience. The new tourist that emerges from smartphone mediation is the smartphoned tourist, that is a tourist whose experience is shaped by the availability and use of this technology.
The thesis focuses on two aspects: first, how smartphones mediate tourist information behaviour. It is argued that information behaviour is a more comprehensive term than information search behaviour because it includes a passive component of behaviour, where information is not only actively searched, but also encountered serendipitously. The concept of planned serendipity is proposed to indicate how smartphone-mediated information behaviour is complex and cannot be reduced to a dichotomy of serendipity and planning. Second, how smartphones mediate tourists’ experiences of phygital worlds. The term phygital is adopted to indicate how the technologically mediated tourist experience is neither physical nor digital, but both. These questions are answered through conceptual and empirical work in four papers.
Paper I explores how smartphones mediate tourists’ relationships with traditional information sources, in particular the guidebook. The study applies the theory of consumer value to understand how the guidebook is not only used for information purposes, but is also valued as an object of consumption. The different types of value attributed to the guidebook are preferential and relative to the smartphone.
In Paper II, after a reflection on the technological mediation of the experience on-site, a qualitative methodology is presented, which combines the experience sampling method with semi-structured interviews.
Paper III, offers a critical review of tourist information search behaviour literature and adopts the concept of planned serendipity to investigate how planning and spontaneity are simultaneously reduced and amplified through smartphone mediation.
Paper IV focuses on the question of how tourists’ time-space behaviour is mediated by the smartphone, and how such mediation makes the experience phygital. The paper offers a new conceptualization of time geography, adapted to the phygital tourist experience.








Lund University


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • smartphone
  • tourism
  • phygital
  • mediation
  • tourist experience
  • tourist information search
  • tourist behaviour
  • digitalization




  • Smartphoned Tourists in the Phygital Tourist Experience


  • ISBN: 978-91-8039-350-8
  • ISBN: 978-91-8039-349-2


14 oktober 2022




U203, Universitetsplatsen 2, Helsingborg


  • Maria Lexhagen (Professor)