Reflexive Tourism: the interaction between tourists and a tourist destination based on a feeling of mutual solidarity leading to a sound sustainable tourism activity. In reflexive tourism the moment of experiencing is the pivot on which tourism hinges and has to ensure that there is a balance between the benefits tourists as well as the tourism destination receive. Tourists, therefore, are an inseparably and integrated part of reflexive tourism.



The most important characteristic of a tourist attraction is that it is “consumed” at the destination, rather than at the tourist’s home. This means that in order to consume the product, the client must first travel to it, thus laying the foundation for what we call tourism: somebody moving to a site where there is a tourist attraction of some kind, such as a beach destination, indigenous pyramids, a concert, nature reserve or a special sports event. The tourist travels to the product to experience (consume) it.

The sublime moment in tourism is the instant when a tourist starts to live an experience, in other words, when he starts to consume Impact Calories (ImpCal). The sensory intake and the processing of ImpCal lead to an experience, and that is exactly what the tourist is looking for. The tourist wants to have an experience and that is only possible when he is using his own senses and absorbing ImpCal, later to be processed into an inner experience. In fact, the tourist pays for the possibility of consuming ImpCal and the processing of ImpCal starts at the beginning of his journey.

Nearby there may be smaller tourist attractions developed for tourists, the so-called Side Impsources. Apart from these, there is the normal entourage involving local daily life – the Shared Impsources - that may also be interesting for the tourist. Another possible ImpCal intake can be produced by chance meetings or sudden occurrences, the Incidental Impsources (accidents also form part of incidental Impsources). In order to create opportunities for tourists to visit places and have ImpCal intake of some sort, many travel organizations deal with advertising and selling ‘possible experiences’ (also called tourist products). This may involve travel stores, tour operators or travel guides. In short, tourism consists of a large number of people, organizations, hotels or other types of buildings, means of transport and many other entities that form a complicated pattern of networks and relations. The tourist forms part of these networks, too.

In a series of articles I explain the funcionality of these networks and their actors.