Tourists and souvenirs: Changes through time, space and meaning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focusses on souvenirs and their meanings. It employs both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate time-dependent changes in tourists' attitudes toward souvenirs and the process through which objects become souvenirs. The research indicates that the passage of time and gaining tourist experience does affect the meanings of tourists' souvenirs. The changes in the meanings given to souvenirs affected their location in the tourists' homes. The most common change was the diminished significance of souvenirs among most of the participants. The research also establishes the importance of the post-journey assignation of meaning to objects as part of the process by which everyday objects are transformed into meaningful bearers of memories. This study stresses the need to redefine the concept of ‘souvenir’ in order to accommodate a broader definition. The term should include any object that reminds us of the journey, even if it was not acquired during the journey itself and was not intended to serve as a souvenir. Expanding the term ‘souvenir’, will require a new classification of souvenirs, thereby changing people's perception of them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Consumption
  • Intangible experiences
  • Mementos
  • Shopping
  • Souvenirs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Tourists and souvenirs: Changes through time, space and meaning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this