Mobilities of business travel: Exploration of the occurrence, experience and performance of travel situations
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In our contemporary highly globalized world, human travel for business purposes is crucial and abundant. In contrast to traditional transportation studies that explain travel from the narrowly-cognitivist model of rational decision-making, this paper analysis the complexity of business travel, as it arises from and is embedded in travel situations. Examples include specific spatio-temporal situations frequently being travelled through, such as inside the (rental) car, the hotel room, the airplane, the conference center, the restaurant and at the airport. It is argued that business travellers, in various situations during their trips, relate to and interact with present and absent persons, objects, and ideas, resulting in the interrelation of dislocated travel, work and private home situations. This paper shows how business travellers in advance of, but especially also during their travelling select and customize suitable temporalities and spatialities around them, but that these performances take place always in negotiation with the present and absent situations. The results are based on a combination of multi-sited ethnography, in-depth interviews with Dutch people who travel intensively for work purposes, and the investigation of, mostly photographic, research material gathered by the respondents themselves.