Conceptualising technology enhanced destination experiences
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Journal: Journal of Destination Marketing and Management
The notion of creating rich and memorable experiences for consumers constitutes a prevalent concept in the tourism industry. With the proliferation of destination choices and increasing competition, it has become critical for destinations to find innovative ways to differentiate their products and create experiences that provide distinct value for the tourist. However, currently two major paradigm shifts are drastically changing the nature of experiences, the understanding of which is crucial for destinations to create successful experiences in the future. Experiences are transforming as (a) consumers now play an active part in co-creating their own experiences and (b) technology is increasingly mediating experiences. Despite the amount of literature recognising the impact of technology on experiences, a holistic conceptualisation of this change is missing. This paper thus raises the need to conflate the two-fold paradigm shift and calls for new reflections on the creation of experiences. The aim is to explore technology as a source of innovation to co-create enhanced destination experiences. The paper contributes on three levels: by introducing and conceptualising a new experience creation paradigm entitled Technology Enhanced Destination Experiences, by proposing an extended destination experience co-creation space in the pre/during/post phases of travel and by discussing managerial implications of this development for the future creation and management of experiences in a destination context. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.