Assessment of the Touristic Activities Conducted by Couchsurfing Participants in Terms of Their Relevance to Slow Tourism Criteria

Cevdet Avcıkurt, Sami Sonat Özdemir, Fatma Doğanay Ergen, Serap Özdemir Güzel


Especially lately, it is quite apparent that tourists are adopting a slow life style.  The couchsurfing (CS) social network creates an environment that is socially, culturally and environmentally interactive and enables travellers from different cultures to come together. This study examines CS’s members travel behaviour within the context of slow tourism. The data were gathered through a survey technique, one of the common quantitative research methods, and analyzed with the SPSS 20.0 Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. The results show that the general slow tourism level (=3. 31) of the participants is around 3 points, which is a medium level. When arithmetic average figures regarding the sub-dimensions of slow tourism are analyzed, average points for  “slowness” and “emotion” are higher than other aspects, which are  =3.31 and  =3.26 respectively. It has not been found another study regarding CS’s members travel behaviour within the context of slow tourism in the literature. Therefore the results of this study have not been compared with another study results. The entire universe could not be reached because of the number of people constituting the universe is greater than ten thousand and time constraints. Therefore sampling method was used. Although the survey sent to 1700 CS members, 180 questionnaires were collected. In this study participants’ slow tourism behaviors according to place living in and to preferred place is studied. However participants’ slow tourism behaviors according to the nationality is not studied. In future studies, if participants’ slow tourism behaviors according to the nationality will examination, literature would be made an important contribution. In addition, there are millions of CS members all over the world. This study is seen that the general slow tourism ( =3,02) values of the CS participants that are approximately 3 points the middle value. Therefore if local governments will focus slow tourism activities in the destination, especially for slowness dimension, it will be effective to attract CS members to the destination.

Keywords: couchsurfing; slowness; cultural interaction; slow tourism; accommodation

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