Philoxenia offered to tourists? A rural tourism perspective

Christou, Prokopis and Sharpley, Richard Anthony john orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2135-3206 (2019) Philoxenia offered to tourists? A rural tourism perspective. Tourism Management, 72 . pp. 39-51. ISSN 0261-5177

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Tourists’ perceptions of genuine hospitality may be molded by hosts’ readiness and capacity to offer ‘philoxenia’. This study sought to explore whether the most generous and benevolent form of hospitality, ‘philoxenia’, is currently attainable. Rural tourism is a fitting context because it allows generosity and strong emotional dealings between guests and hosts. Findings derived from informal interviews with stakeholders in rural tourism enterprises in Cyprus show that the notion of philoxenia is essentially founded on ‘philallilia’ (love for the other). However, it is called on to address challenges such as shifting societal values and a ‘fear of the stranger’. Nonetheless, philoxenia can be cultivated, provided that organizational values shift towards anthropocentric rather than ego/commercial-centric activities. This paper discusses managerial implications and establishes a future research agenda for this under-researched notion.

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