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This chapter compares two protected natural parks as specific experiential contexts providing two different experiences for visitors: extraordinary and memorable versus…
This chapter compares two protected natural parks as specific experiential contexts providing two different experiences for visitors: extraordinary and memorable versus ordinary and mundane (Carù & Cova, 2006, 2007). Each experiential context enables the distinction of actual visitors’ experiences (Pine & Gilmore, 1999) inside each park. A qualitative study collected information to differentiate each protected natural park based on three dimensions: the geophysical environment, the recreational practices, and product and service offer management. A quantitative study analyzed the effect of a specific experiential context through a comparison of actual visitors’ experiences on four dimensions (esthetics, escapism, education, and entertainment) in both countries (500 in each country). Results of the qualitative study show that the Taiwanese park provides an experiential context with more extraordinary and memorable experiences while the French park provides an experiential context with more ordinary and mundane experiences. The results of the quantitative study show the distinction of actual visitors’ experiences inside each park: more immersion through esthetics and escapism in Taiwan and more absorption through education and entertainment in France. Each park manager has to build one’s own positioning and should offer a unique experiential context based on the three dimensions to provide more extraordinary and memorable or more ordinary and mundane experiences. this study highlights the interest of an analysis framework of experiences adapted from Carù and Cova (2006, 2007) and Pine and Gilmore (1999) underlining the link between experiential context and actual experiences.