The service experience in tourism
Abstract This paper outlines the method and results of the scale development process for a construct the authors term the service experience. A stream of research in leisure and tourism has explored the experiential perspective in these industries. While contributors have come to some agreement on what constitutes the experience of leisure and tourism, they have done so from sociological, anthropological and psychological perspectives. We argue, however, that tourism is a business comprising many service sectors. Thus, to translate the consumer experience into managerial action, research into the experience of tourism from a services marketing perspective is warranted. Another stream of research from the general marketing field has shown that subjective, affective and experiential factors comprise a substantial portion of consumer satisfaction with services. In other words, service quality measures may be insufficient to assist in our understanding of satisfaction in the tourism industry. The purpose of this research was to address the issues raised above and to enhance our understanding of the service experience in tourism. To this end, the authors develop and test a scale across three different tourism industries: hotels, airlines and tours & attractions. A factor analysis is used to explore the dimensionality of the service experience. The paper concludes with a discussion of the managerial relevance of the service experience, as well as some suggestions for future research into the area.
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