Creating innovative experiences in tourism
Frank Lindberg. From: University of Nordland, to: University of Gothenburg.
The tourist industry has an enormous innovation and value generating potential through activities ranging from providing natural and cultural resources to processing nature/culture through means of communication, customer participation and cooperation. There is a need for new conceptual frameworks, better understandings of tourist behaviour, better research methodologies, specific tourist experiences linked to attractions, and knowledge of extraordinary tourism experiences. This project rises to the call by paying attention to how we can understand tourist experiences.
The overall purpose of this project is to investigate how extraordinary tourism contexts are experienced. It is based on a project in Norway on tourist experiences and innovations funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
The host will be Centre for Tourism at the School of Business, Economics and Commercial Law at University of Gothenburg. The Centre for Tourism has a good record of international publications, interdisciplinary research and collaboration with international researchers and industry.
Overall, the project will lead to:
Increased knowledge on innovation models related to tourism experiences as the Norwegian project has been carried out together with tourism organizations and businesses.
Seminars and workshops together with the industry with dissemination of results and implications
Long term relationships between the research centers and universities.
Strengthening of existing clusters connected to tourism in general and to maritime tourism in particular
Development of the involved researchers competences
International publications in excellent journals
The project is estimated to start late 2016 and finish in 2017.
Project Summary Results
Despite advances in research on the importance of how people add value to final experience, extant literature hardly explores how tourism products actually are experienced and what variables (structural or motivational) that influence extensive consumption processes. This project thus aims to explore and evaluate different types of extraordinary nature-based tourist experiences in terms of how they contribute to value for the customer. Tourism businesses would benefit from more detailed knowledge about value creation in single activities and as packages, and how that knowledge may be useful for becoming innovative, competitive and profitable in strategic ways.
We asked the following research questions:
- How does the ordinary life of tourists influence extraordinary experiences?
- How do enter positions, such as knowledge, skills, understanding, impact on challenges, coping and value during experiences?
- How do the tourists experience the transition towards the tourist role and back?
- How can ordinary aspects, as perceived by businesses, destinations, residents, become extraordinary for tourists?
Answering these questions contributes to the existing knowledge on extraordinary tourism experiences by adding to the literature how tourists face extraordinary contexts and how they cope with roles and transitions during various phases of experiences. Furthermore, we learned more about how ordinary aspects at a destination can become extraordinary for others. This knowledge is valuable for Bohuslän in West Sweden for destination development but also for tourism organizations such as Göteborg & Co and the West Sweden Tourism Board, as well as for specific companies who like to adopt their products to more innovative experiences.