Astro-tourism conceptualisation as special-interest tourism (SIT) field: a phenomonological approach

Samaneh Soleimani, Johan Bruwer, Michael J. Gross, Richard Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This study conceptualises astro-tourism as a nature-based tourism phenomenon and illustrates its positioning as a special-interest tourism (SIT) field using a phenomenological approach. In the process, this baseline research study contributes to this relatively new tourism field’s foundational research aspects, such as developing a definition and, examining its articulation with destination image. It finds that astro-tourism is based on the interest of tourists in sky-related activities such as dark sky observation and astrophotography, most often in a nature-based context. The findings can be utilised to develop astro-tourism as a new medium in conceptualising tourism destination image by combining destination earth features as well as sky features. Targeting sky features of a destination combined with the earth facilities to attract tourists is one of the new opportunities to deliver unique tourism products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2299-2314
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Astro-tourism
  • destination image
  • nature-based tourism
  • sky observation
  • special-interest tourism


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