Balancing Value Co-Creation: Culture, Ecology, and Human Resources in Tourism Industry

Balancing Value Co-Creation: Culture, Ecology, and Human Resources in Tourism Industry

Jesus Alcoba, Susan Tumolva Mostajo, Romano Angelico Trinidad Ebron, Rowell Paras
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2084-9.ch014
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Co-creation of services in tourism industry is accorded in this work as a shared-responsibility by the service providers, local communities, and tourists who interact and collaborate to co-produce improved service offerings for a valuable experience. The process of creating improved services involves a state of harmony and balance within and among the tourism elements such as ecology, culture, and human resources for the protection, preservation, and sustainability of the tourism environment. People attach notable value to experiences, and tourism is one of the greatest sources of life experiences. From this perspective, the authors, through systematic literature review, attempted to align the emerging concept of creating value in service ecosystem to tourism for a more meaningful touristic experience.
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Value Co-Creations In Tourism Industry

Even mere accidental observation would conclude that what customers consider valuable has changed significantly compared to the past. In the last decades, at least two new concepts that have relocated the focus of value creation have appeared.

The first nests from the impact caused by the switch from an exchange of goods market into an economy which is mainly based on services. This approach has two parallel and interrelated pathways (Spohrer, Anderson, Pass, & Ager, 2008). The first, called service-dominant logic, was originally conceived as a marketing issue (Vargo & Lusch, 2004). But it has undergone a progressive evolution (Vargo & Lusch, 2007) that has expanded its descriptive value. Nowadays, it is positioning itself as a paradigm about creating value in service ecosystems, in which the institutional environment is contemplated as a context of cooperation and coordination in value creation (Vargo & Lusch, 2015). The second pathway, originally termed as science of service systems (Spohrer, Maglio, Bailey, & Gruhl, 2007), is now named service science (Spohrer & Maglio, 2009). It is understood as the interaction among people, technology, and shared information (IfM & IBM, 2008) and considers service systems as the basic abstraction that explains the co-creation of value (Maglio, Vargo, Caswell, & Spohrer, 2009).

The second concept that helps in conceptualizing what is valuable by the customers is related to Pine and Gilmore’s schema of the progression of economic value and it is the so-called experience economy (Pine & Gilmore, 1998). Under this approach, lived experiences are even beyond interacting with services. Experiences are personal and memorable. Customers add them to their biographies and they help them to construct their identities (Alcoba et al., 2016). In the semantic universe defined by these two concepts, there are several terms whose conceptual delineation plays a very important role in the analysis of their impact in the tourism industry.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ecology: The natural environment, which includes God-endowed natural resources and attractions that provide attractiveness of nearly all touristic destinations and recreation sites. It also pertains to the interconnectedness between the organisms and the environment itself.

Resilience: In the context of a global tourism industry, is the ability of the employees to cope with challenges and be in harmony with the social and physical tourism environment they engage with.

Commoditization: The process by which a distinguished tourist destination ends up becoming a common place to visit. It affects most of tourism elements such as culture, environment, and its locals, making the tourism products inauthentic.

Culture and Change Adaptability: The ability of an employee to adapt to changes and to manage challenges due to diversity of people, culture, personalities, values, places, weather condition, and life circumstances that are encountered in the global scenario of tourism industry.

Attractions: The places of interest that draw people (tourists) to visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited natural or cultural value, historical significance, natural, or built beauty, offering leisure, adventure, and amusement.

Cultural Tourism: A form of tourism that allows tourists be immersed in local cultural related activities such as rituals and festivities. It leads the destination in providing opportunity for authentic cultural exchange between locals and visitors. For destinations, it encourages local communities to embrace their culture and boost economic growth, developing culturally geared tourism programs; encourages destinations to celebrate and promote what distinguishes their communities for an authentic cultural exchange between locals and visitors.

Ecotourism: The responsible travel to natural places or habitats for the protection, conservation, and sustainability of the tourism destination environment and for the improvement of the well-being of the local communities by way of interpretation and education.

Service Ecosystem in Tourism: The improved services by way of co-creation in tourism industry through the context of “shared-responsibility” by the human resources, the tourists, and the local community in maintaining harmony and balance of the tourism environment for its preservation and sustainability.

Human Resource: An individual with the required knowledge, skills, attitudes, and personality traits for a specific job engaged to perform certain functions to achieve organizational objectives.

Cultural Motivation: The reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs to learn about and engage with culture based destinations which plays an important role in the generation of tourists’ arrival to cultural tourism destinations.

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