Towards a general theory of touristic experiences: Modelling experience process in tourism
Article publication date: 1 March 2001
Experiences are a main issue in tourism. However, the conceptual configuration of experiences in tourism has proved to be difficult. The English word ‘experience’ is rather neutral and vague; it can be understood to cover all kind of things that a person has passed through, regardless of their mental, emotianal or other relevance. There is a more precise terms available for emotional experiences in some languages: Erlebnis in German, upplevelse in Swedish and elämys in Finnish are examples of these. (Cf. e.g. Ireland & Kivi 1998.) The purpose of this paper is to clarify the nature and main characteristics of experiences in tourism for the benifit of general understanding of experience processes in tourism. The scope, contents and types of experiences are discussed first from functional points or view giving special attention to the scope of processes producing various types of experiences. The types and roles of various personal resources are clarified then. The stages of experience processes in tourism are then figured out in the third section of the paper. Finally, a preliminary model is presented decribing the essential elements and dynamics of the process where tourism experiences evolve.
Aho, S.K. (2001), "Towards a general theory of touristic experiences: Modelling experience process in tourism", Tourism Review, Vol. 56 No. 3/4, pp. 33-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb058368
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