An Exploration of the Technology Enhanced Tourist Experience
PhD Thesis Abstract
“The notion of creating unique and memorable experiences for consumers has become of primary importance for tourism research and practice. The way contemporary tourist experiences are created has however undergone a fundamental change.
Experiences are transforming as consumers are increasingly empowered to co-create their own experiences. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have represented a catalyst of change that has opened unprecedented possibilities for tourist experience creation and enhancement. While the literature has recognised these paradigm shifts within the service-dominant logic and the services marketing and management discipline, a holistic understanding of this phenomenon is still missing to date. This doctoral study therefore aims to explore how the tourist experience can be enhanced by ICTs through company-consumer experience co-creation, throughout all stages of the travel process, i.e. pre/during/post travel.
This thesis integrates the three theoretical streams of tourist experience, co-creation and ICTs to explore, conceptualise and develop the Technology Enhanced Tourist Experience concept. A comprehensive qualitative mixed methods strategy comprising three main research phases was adopted, consisting of a) qualitative content analysis, b) multiple case study and c) semi-structured consumer in-depth interviews to triangulate the findings and allow for a holistic knowledge development. The most significant findings contribute to knowledge by offering a) a comprehensive understanding of the granular elements of the tourist experience, b) both a company and consumer actor perspective on experience co-creation, c) a detailed enhancement process of the tourist experience through ICTs and d) a holistic model depicting the twelve distinct factors of the Technology Enhanced Tourist Experience.
This study makes an original contribution to the services marketing and management discipline on a wider level and the three theoretical streams in specific. This thesis is significant and original in that it is the first study to explore the Technology Enhanced Tourist Experience and to create a theoretical foundation of this concept. The strength of this work thus lies in developing several conceptualisations and models that advance the service-dominant logic and provide critical strategic implications for services marketing and management practice. This knowledge has also wider implications and makes an impact on a global business, societal, technological and policy level beyond.”
(C) Copyright Barbara Neuhofer | Please use the following reference:
Neuhofer, B. E., 2014. An Exploration of the technology enhanced tourist experience. Doctorate Thesis (Doctorate). Bournemouth University.