Consumers are increasingly striving for experiences. They search for unique and memorable experiences, as products have become replicated.
The concept of the experience economy has changed. For a long time experience economy was a vehicle to design and supply experiences to consumers and so gain advantage. But times change, and the concept has developed, as consumers have become more active and nowadays play a part in co-creating their own experiences for personal growth. Consumers are more empowered than ever before!
Tourism experiences are not only co-created but more than ever technology-mediated. The increase of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has had a significant influence on people’s everyday lives and has so implied new challenges for the creation of experiences
A new paradigm in the field of marketing:
Moving from Experience 1.0 (The Experience Economy) to the Experience 2.0 (Co-Creation Experiences) towards a new era of experiences – the Experience 3.0 Technology Enhanced Tourism Experiences:
A rethinking in marketing is needed to reflect upon possible potentials, issues, challenges and future trends of tourism experiences. This study has the aim to discuss the issues, challenges and trends for the creation of Technology Enhanced Tourism Experiences.
The developments of experiences, consumer co-creation and technologies have caused a significant impact on tourism marketing. On the one hand they offer opportunities, on the other hand they rise challenges for experience creation in the future.
So tourism marketing will need to adapt to
a) the changing nature of experiences,
b) new implications for co-creation, and
c) the need
to make use of the potential of technologies to expand experiences.
This means that businesses should consider a participation with consumers. Furthermore they have to make use of the ICTs as the key to a successful creation of innovative experiences, added value and competitive advantage. Thus the increased consumer involvement has opened a new era in marketing, known as the co-creation paradigm. Co-creation describes a collective and collaborative process, a value creation between the company and the consumer. The principle is to put consumers first and recognise them as a key factor of experience and value creation.
At the same time, co-production has been established as a key mechanism between companies and consumers in exchange and defined as an interactive nature of services. An integration of a large crowd on people is known as ‘Crowdnsourcing’ . Drawing upon the involvement of consumers it is a crowd of people who help solve a problem. Crowdsourcing has thus become an effective medium for companies to outsource processes to a crowd of individuals aimed at performing specific goals.
Innovation through technology-faciliated co-creation:
Tourism, as one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, has always been at the forefront of technology with information being the lifeblood of the travel industry. As a result, consumer independence increased while the importance of traditional travel distributions by operators and travel agents decreased.
The internet has become a platform for connection of people and businesses. Social technologies has had an enormous effect on the way services, experiences and value are created. New levels of customer centricity have formed with a constant connectivity and the engaging nature of social media.
As already mentioned, businesses need to find ways for innovation and the creation of unique experiences. Tourism organisations have become highly competitive in order to reduce commodification and differentiate themselves by creating more valuable experiences and maximising the potential of co-creation. To achieve this goal, ICTs are the effective instruments.
New processes of how, when and where consumers can play a role in the creation of their experiences arised through ICTs. Co-creation can happen anywhere throughout the customer journey and service value chain.
A great example – “Airbnb”:
The technology-faciliated Innovation:
It is a Crowd-based platform of home-owners creating one of the largest private-house renting platforms for tourists.
New opportunities to innovate co-creation processes in tourism have arised due to advances in customer involvement and technology.
In this light, the chapter had the aim to explore innovation through co-creation and to develop an understanding of how ICTs can be used to make innovative co-creation processes in tourism easier.
Most important is the adoption of a co-creation philosophy that puts the consumer first!