Experiences are transforming.
A widespread concept in the tourism industry is the creation of experiences for consumers. The competition is bigger than ever.
Destinations – as the core of the travel and tourism industry – have to find innovative ways to differentiate their products and create experiences and so provide value for the tourists.
This is why destination marketing and management faces a challenge, as destinations are one of the most difficult products to manage and market. They are seeking for ways to improve their market position.
Nowadays, global competition turned products and services into commodities. Advantage in this huge competition could only be gained with unique and memorable experiences. Only those providing experiences will be able to remain in the market.
But what is changing the nature of experience?
Experiences are transforming because
- consumers now play an active part in co-creating their own experiences.
- technology is increasingly mediating experiences.
Co-Creating the Destination Experience (Neuhofer, Buhalis & Ladkin, 2012)
The traditional experience economy changed
First, the traditional experience economy has been replaced by the notion of experience co-creation, where consumers co-create their own experiences for personal growth and value.
Second, there has been evidence that tourism experiences are not only co-created but increasingly technology-mediated.
The 21st century
One of the most far-reaching changes to society in the 21st century is the proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The technological advancements have had a great impact on society and people’s everyday lives and also determined sectors such as the tourism industry.
ICTs and their role in tourism
The role of ICTs in the tourism industry is varied.
For example, technology plays a key role in the operation, structure and strategies of tourism organisations a central element in the innovation of products, processes and management, and an enabler of opportunities for tourism organisations to attract and keep visitors.
Thus, technology has revolutionised the very nature of the tourism industry.
This paper calls for new reflections on the creation and management of experiences in a destination context, which are determined by:
A shift from passively consuming to actively engaged tourists co-creating their own experiences.
A shift towards using technology to co-create enhanced experiences with tourist consumers.
It is expected that even more challenges for destination marketing and management will emerge in the coming decade. Stay tuned for more updates!
This is the full reference to cite this work:
Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D., Ladkin, A. (2012) Conceptualising technology enhanced destination experiences. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 1(1–2): 36-46.
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