Doing nothing on holiday – conceptualising tourist idleness and creating otium places

Jelena Farkic, Gorana Isailovic, Miha Lesjak

Abstract


This paper explores tourist idleness, a concept that should be more celebrated in our modern, fast-paced, hyper-technological world. It aims to contribute to the conversation on the necessity for slowing down, stilling even, the tempo of life through adopting bodily inaction as the periods in which people engage in mundane, unproductive or trivial activities. In framing idleness as a relaxing, creative and recuperative holiday practice, we argue that tourist activities which offer the ‘luxury’ of doing nothing on holiday, can in many ways enhance their wellbeing. To this end, we explore how the tourism offer in nature-rich places can be expanded in such a way to offer more opportunities for being, waiting, doing nothing or bodily anchoring people in place. The significance of ‘doing nothing’ is therefore highlighted here, not only as a recreative way of holidaying but also as a leisurely activity which is much yearned-for in the everyday life of fast-paced, troubled societies.

Keywords: wellbeing, idleness, leisure, otium, slowness, nature-based tourism


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