Addressing Gaps in Understanding the Tourist Experience: Towards an Integrated Perspective

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Customer experience in general, is a complex construct, and difficult to define as it is characterised by the emotional and affective state of the customer (Zehrer, 2009). While it has attracted considerable attention in the literature (Gnoth et al. 2009; Atilgan et al. 2003; Aho, 2001,), it is widely accepted that the area of experience creation and design lacks a significant theoretical basis (Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, 2000; Pullman and Gross, 2003; Stuart and Tax, 2004) and as yet a prescriptive focus for tourism enterprises (Gupta and Vajic, 2000). The provision of an attractive value proposition for tourism enterprises is dependent on the tourist experience (Zehrer, 2009); consequently, the lack of insight into the nature of this experience limits the enterprises‟ ability to develop an effective experience management strategy. Indeed, there is an imbalance in the experience literature as existing work in the area of experiential tourism services has dealt primarily with the characteristics of experiences (Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, 2004; Gupta & Vajic, 2000; Carbone & Haeckel, 1994), or on the enhancers and inhibitors to experience delivery (Anderson et al., 2008) or on the benefits of experience delivery (Voss, 2004; Pullman & Gross, 2003) but with scant attention to how tourism providers can actually create and articulate the tourism experience concept, in particular, engaging with the reality of the tourist experience as perceived by the user (Gupta and Vajic, 2000). Therefore, this paper integrates a large volume of heterogeneous literature drawing from numerous disciplines to develop a working definition of tourist experience. A series of questions arising from the reviewed literature are presented to guide future empirical examination.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event13th Irish Academy of Management Conference (IAM) - Cork Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology
Duration: 01 Jan 2010 → …


Conference13th Irish Academy of Management Conference (IAM)
CityCork Institute of Technology
Period01/01/2010 → …


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