Off The Beaten Track: Discovering the Cross-Cultural Encounters of Backpackers and Locals in Sagada


This research study looked into backpacking tourism in Sagada, Philippines specifically in the context of cross-cultural communication. It incorporated concepts from the Coordinated Management of Meaning theory to discover the communication styles backpackers and locals used to deal with the cross-cultural situations they encountered in Sagada. Through qualitative research methods, a profile of Sagada, its locals and the backpackers, and a description of the extent of interaction between the two groups, the approaches used in cross-cultural situations and the evaluations of their experiences were created. Based on the study findings, the extent of interaction between the backpackers and locals existed in two levels: brief interactions which resulted into shallow relationships and prolonged interactions which resulted into deeper relationships. In the stream of interactions, both groups used verbal and non-verbal communication styles in employing different approaches, such as accommodation, avoidance, compromise and collaboration, to cope with the cultural differences between them. Thus, regardless of any conflicts encountered, both the backpackers and locals in Sagada found their tourism experiences to be positive.

Crisanto, J.M. & Pizarro, A.K. (2013). ‘Off The Beaten Track’: Discovering the Cross-Cultural Encounters of Backpackers and Locals in Sagada, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines, Diliman

Keywords: Backpacking, Cross-Cultural Communication Studies, Tourism, Culture, Sagada, Philippines

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