Exploring “Planned Serendipity” and On-site Information Behavior on Smartphones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


The paper explores tourists’ smartphone-related information behavior on site in light of the concept of “planned serendipity”. The ability to gather
information at anytime and anywhere can deeply influence tourists’ behavior,
their information needs and the outcomes of their travel plans. In this study, the
concept of planned serendipity is used to suggest that the outcome of travel
information behavior on site is not entirely planned nor entirely serendipitous.
The study employs the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) in combination
with qualitative interviews, which allow the researcher to gather data both
during the participants’ trip and afterwards. The thematic analysis resulted in
four main themes related to information search connected to smartphone use:
flexible plans; orientation in time and space; specificity of the query; aiming for
optimization. Such conditions result in planned serendipity. The study thus
contributes to the conceptualization of planned serendipity as an outcome of
smartphone use during travel for information purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2022
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the ENTER 2022 eTourism Conference, January 11-14, 2022
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-94751-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-94750-7
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Media and Communications
  • Sociology

Free keywords

  • smartphones
  • planning
  • serendipity
  • Experience sampling method (ESM)


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