‘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, more personal and more meaningful experiences online made possible through information and communication technologies (ICTs).
How can we support co-creation initiatives through digital technology?
The potential for digital technology to support co-creation has reached a new extent 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, often referred to as ‘prosumer’ as a consequence of the increasing mobility and the development of social information and communication technologies.
The study “Co-creation Through Technology: Dimensions of Social Connectedness” by Dr Barbara Neuhofer, Prof Dimitros Buhalis and Prof Adele Ladkin first discusses the theoretical foundations of co-creation and consumer centrism as well as the impact of social media and mobile information and communication technologies.
When consumers connect and share their tourist experiences, they do so in six main ways.
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, and an involvement continuum, ranging from low to high. Depending on their social media usage and connection, tourists create tourism experiences that are disconnected, characterised by interaction, or a highly intense and shared to allow for others to co-participate and co-live experiences online and co-create value through this process.
Dimensions of social conectedness
We cannot just speak of simple ‘co-creation’ as a one size fits all definition.
This study reveals that co-creation is not a singular process. It shows that co-creation has multiple intensities and can occur on multiple levels. The authors conclude that it is important to understand the different nuances of co-creation and understand the various ways in which tourists co-create experiences and value in their own social circles, before, while and after travelling.
The aim of the study was to develop a differentiated knowledge of how exactly tourists co-create through information and communication technologies. Further research and practical implications for management are underlined.
More information about this study
This is how you can cite the study:
Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D. and Ladkin, A. (2014) Co-Creation through Technology: Dimensions of Social Connectedness. In Xiang, Z. and I. Tussyadiah (Eds.), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2014, Vienna, Austria: Springer Verlag, pp. 339-352.
Here you can download and read the article:
Here is the link to the publisher: Springer Verlag