The influence of ethnicity on leisure pursuits and tourism behaviour of Somali immigrants in Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Mbuthia, Susan W.
Maingi, Shem W.
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This study is based on the premise that there are fundamental differences in tourism behaviour of immigrants in Europe, such that, there are certain ethnic and cultural determinants to travel preferences, choice and behaviour. Previous studies in Europe reveal certain socio-economic constraints that face ethnic minorities in Europe. This study sought to identify these ethnic determinants/ constraints of travel behaviour amongst Somali immigrants in the Netherlands. A field survey was conducted through the use of structured interviews. The interviews were conducted to twenty nine adults living in the city of Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The respondents were college students and other adults from twenty one years and above, specifically of Somali decent. The results indicated that there were in deed ethnic differences in leisure and tourism behaviour of Somali immigrants to the Netherlands. The Bantu Somalis were more liberal and would adapt more than the other Somalis when they come into contact with other cultures. Travel preferences of these respondents were based on their personal values; personal liking; family ties and the level of interest of places to travel. Racialized expressions and social encounters played a pivotal role in the way the Somalis living in the Netherlands chose to travel and engage in their daily and leisure activities. These individuals were more or less influenced by other cultural contexts, therefore having significantly different preferences in leisure pursuits and travel behaviour. Majority of the findings confirmed that there were ethnic constraints and determinants to leisure and tourism behaviour of Somali immigrants in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. This work has demonstrated that there were indeed constraints experienced by immigrants and especially those of Somali ethnicity, and close attention to the experiences of other Netherlands immigrants such as those from Caribbean or Middle East should be researched on. This would help develop a broader analysis of immigrants’ forms and ways of travel and their experiences.