Experiences represent the essence of the tourism industry.
In recent years, consumers have been increasingly in search of experiences. Tourism experiences are undergoing constant change due to the growing importance of consumer involvement, co-creation and technology.
Revolution through technology!
What has changed is that technology has not only become a part of tourism. Technology has revolutionised the way travel is planned and tourism services and experiences are created and consumed. It follows that new opportunities, challenges and potentials in the field arised.
Experience Hierarchy (Neuhofer, Buhalis & Ladkin, 2013)
New types of tourist activities
The integration of ICTs has particularly benefited the facilitation of experiences. With new technologies, new types of tourist activities are emerging. Technology can both – transform conventional experiences and result in the opening of new types of tourism experiences.
New experiences are predicted to be richer through multiple media. Technology can function either as a mediator or become the core experience itself.
Many studies have discussed the impact of single types of technologies, such as the internet, blogs, social media and networking platforms, while lacking to recognise multiple technologies in transforming the nature of tourism experience.
The integration of ICTs leads to enhanced experiences and an increase of value. The numbers of companies realising high-level experiences that integrate ICTs on a holistic level throughout the customer journey are still limited, caused by the difficulty to create the highest levels of experiences and their limited evidence in practice to date.
ICTs and everyday life
However, with technological developments and ICTs to everyday life, especially for young generations, it is evident that tourism organisations will be progressing through the different levels in the hierarchy and gradually integrate technology to all aspects of their business for the enhancement of experiences.
As the constant increase of value for the tourist is the highest priority in experience creation, it is important for tourism organisations to evaluate their current experience and value created in seeking to progress to the next level.
In this process, ICTs will play the key role.
This is the first study to take an integrated approach of #technology and #co-creation in experiences, and has developed an Experience Typology Matrix.
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You can cite the work as follows:
Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D., Ladkin, A. (2014) A Typology of Technology-Enhanced Tourism Experiences. International Journal of Tourism Research, 16(4): 340-350.
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Publisher: Online Library
Research Gate: Research Gate