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Lamont, M & Kennelly, M 2011, 'I can't do everything! Competing priorities as constraints in triathlon event travel careers', Tourism Review International, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 85-97.

Publisher's abstract and pdf available with the permission of the publisher, Cognizant Communication Corporation.

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© 2011 Cognizant Communication Corporation

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The term “event travel career” describes how highly involved and/or committed persons pursue acareer of travel to organized events linked to their preferred leisure activity. The introduction ofthis significant, discretionary social role may lead to individuals experiencing dilemmas in prioritizingbetween day-to-day needs and desires and those of their event travel career. This articlediscusses how the concepts of competing priorities and opportunity costs are useful in understandingconstraints faced by serious leisurists pursuing an event travel career. The sport of triathlonwas chosen as a context in which to examine these concepts. A textual analysis of postings to anAustralian online forum for triathletes was undertaken over 4 weeks. The data supported the contentionthat persons who train for and travel to triathlon events face significant resource-relatedconstraints in the form of competing priorities. Three domains where the triathletes encounteredcompeting priorities in their lives were identified: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural. Interms of negotiating constraints presented by their competing priorities, the triathletes appearedwilling to accept a range of opportunity costs in order to maintain momentum in their event travelcareer. This study contributes to enhancing knowledge regarding constraints faced by serious leisuristsin a tourism context, and also in understanding the broader implications of constraints negotiationat the individual level.

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