Tourism Review, 2012
Destinations are embedded in a competitive environment, in which quality and service alone do not satisfy the customer, and are no longer useful for differentiation. Thus experiences, as a source of customer value, are gaining importance in destination management. Experiences are provided at isolated attraction points, rather than as networks within spaces. Thus, destinations are forced to provide emotional experiences along the entire tourist service chain within the destination space. The challenge is to transform the space of the tourist's movements into one of experiences. The main purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual framework for the mobility offer in the destination, the realised mobility and the relative experience.
The construct was empirically tested on the culture event MANIFESTA 7, one of Europe's biggest events for contemporary art, which took place on four different, spatially unconnected locations in the northern Italian region of Trentino‐South Tyrol. In total 1,394 quantitative face‐to‐face interviews were conducted.
The results of the study show that the concept of different spaces can be elaborated and measured. Further, a causal relationship between the spaces was found. Thus, the spaces build on one another. It was also found that the experience space has a strong influence on overall satisfaction of the visitors and likelihood of recommendation.
This study has some limitations, including that further research on this approach is needed in order to find ways to measure individual experiences and spatial behaviour simultaneously.
The findings from this study constitute an attempt to determine a structured approach to this interdisciplinary field of research. They should also help managers and planners to improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of destinations.