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Asian solo male travelling mobilities – An autoethnography.


Aaron Tham


Purpose This study aims to unpack the notion of travelling mobilities from the perspectives of an Asian solo traveller using the context of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Design/methodology/approach An autoethnography was used for this research, analysing reflective notes drafted on hand-written journals over the duration of six days over three host cities of the sporting event.

Findings Asian solo men appear to be treated very differently from their Western counterparts and solo female tourists. In addition, engaging with a sport that is highly Western-centric exposes the liminal spaces of in-between. Being of Asian appearance and conversant in Japanese further blurred the travelling mobilities of being an unlikely sports fan, an impromptu translator, a presumed local resident and an unconventional wanderer.

Originality/value These limitations notwithstanding, the research has contributed to the paucity of knowledge surrounding Asian solo male tourists and some aspects of their corresponding travelling mobilities. Such nuanced understanding then inform tourism and hospitality knowledge and practice of offering relevant experiences to such a market.

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