REPRESENTATIONS OF DISTANCE: DIFFERENCES IN UNDERSTANDING DISTANCE ACCORDING TO TRAVEL METHOD
This paper explores how Danish tourists represent distance in relation to their holiday mobility and how these representations of distance are a result of being aero-mobile as opposed to being land-mobile. Based on interviews with Danish tourists, whose holiday mobility ranges from the European continent to global destinations, the first part of this qualitative study identifies three categories of representations of distance that show how distance is being ‘translated’ by the tourists into non-geometric forms: distance as resources, distance as accessibility, and distance as knowledge. The representations of distance articulated by the Danish tourists show that distance is often not viewed in ‘just’ kilometres. Rather, it is understood in forms that express how transcending the physical distance through holiday mobility is dependent on individual social and economic contexts, and on whether the journey was undertaken by air or land. The analysis also shows that being aeromobile is the holiday transportation mode that removes the tourists the furthest away from physical distance, resulting in the distance travelled by air being represented in ways that have the least correlation, in the tourists’ minds, with physical distance measured in kilometres.