Morgan, M., Elbe, J. and Esteban, J., 2008. Has the Experience Economy Arrived Yet? In: Regional Studies Association Annual International Conference - Regions: The Dilemmas of Integration and Competition, 27-29 May 2008, Prague, Czech Republic.
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This paper explores the concept of the experience economy as a basis for management and marketing strategies in regions which are heavily dependent on visitors. These regions face challenges from the trend towards ‘recommoditisation’ of services, where consumers make decisions solely on price and availability. With the rapid adoption of the internet among other factors, potential tourists can compare on-line prices to find bargains in services such as transportation, accommodation, and entertainment. The result has been to make a much greater choice of destinations affordable and accessible to visitors, often to the detriment of established European destinations. Coastal resorts and rural recreation areas providing services aimed at people on main holidays of seven or more days have been particularly affected and, unlike other industries, are unable to relocate to reduce costs or access new markets. To survive, they therefore need to find innovative ways of exploiting the resources of their own creativity and the unique natural and culture distinctiveness of their locality. The hypothesis put forward by writers such as Pine and Gilmore (1999), King (2002) and Williams (2006) is that only by creating unique and memorable experiences for its consumers can any service organisation achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Our research programme explores the extent to which the concepts of 'the experience economy' have been understood and accepted by decision-makers in these visitor-dependent areas, and how successfully they have been implemented to date. This paper focuses on three different types of case study regions by geography and market, the rural recreation region of the Siljan Lake District in Sweden, the seaside resort of Bournemouth in the United Kingdom and the historic city of Alcala de Henares in Spain. Interviews were conducted with representatives of public sector Tourism Destination Management Organisations, private sector tourism associations and the appropriate Regional Planning body. These first explored their perceptions of the forces driving change in their markets, and the strategies and products that were being developed in response. They were then asked for their comments on a selection of statements from the ‘experience economy’ literature. Thus it was possible first to compare their unprompted perceptions of their business environment with those of the experience economy writers, and then to ask directly the extent to which they accepted the conclusions and prescriptions of those writers.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Subjects:||Arts > Recreation|
Social Sciences > Tourism
|Group:||School of Tourism > Centre for Event and Sport Research|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||19 Apr 2009 13:25|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 14:54|
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