‘Co-creation’ has become an important term in tourism research and tourism practice. The tourist is the one who determines the creation of experiences and value.
Nowadays the tourist can co-create richer, personal and more meaningful experiences online made possible through information and communication technologies.
The potential for technology supporting co-creation has reached a new extend due to the increase of mobile devices and social media. The social co-creation process occurs outside of the company domain, when tourist consumers connect, engage and share with their social circles through technology.
As a result, the tourist has turned into a connected consumer, in consequence of the increasing mobility and the development of social information and communication technologies, also referred to as ICTs.
This study by Dr Barbara Neuhofer, Dr Dimitros Buhalis and Dr Adele Ladkin first discusses the theoretical foundations of co-creation and consumer centrism as well as the impact of social media mobile information and communication technologies. Six dimensions of social connectedness are graphically displayed in a new model. These six distinct dimensions can be positioned on a social intensity continuum, ranging from disconnection to social co-living of the experience.
Dimensions of social conectedness
This study contributes that by revealing that co-creation is not a single process but can occur on multiple levels and intensities. It is important to understand the different nuances of co-creation and understand the various ways in which tourists co-create in their own social circles.
The aim of the study is to develop a differentiated knowledge of how exactly tourists co-create through information and communication technologies. It highlights key implications for the existing theoretical understanding of tourist experience portrayed as a reversal from of the everyday life.
Further research and practical implications for management are underlined.