Experiential Tourist Products: The Role of Servicescape

Experiential Tourist Products: The Role of Servicescape

Sonia Ferrari (University of Calabria, Italy)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8699-1.ch012
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Nowadays tourists look for enriching and involving experiences, together with a more active role during their holidays. Tourism can be considered overall as an experiential and aesthetic product, which involves the five senses. In order to offer unforgettable and valuable experiences, tourist products should be designed in a way that takes into account the subjective reactions of the single customer. Therefore, in the design of the service process, firms must offer a physical environment that favours the opportunity for every customer to live unique and subjective experiences, based on the personal use of servicescape, taking always into account the subjective reactions of the single consumer.
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Today during their travels tourists want to visit places in a different way from the past. They are increasingly desirous to grasp the more authentic aspects of their destinations and, particularly, those that are linked with local history, traditions and culture.

More and more often consumers avoid mass holidays and standard tourist packages. Innovative experiential products can now satisfy their search for strong emotions, high involvement, and unusual situations, together with their desire to return to ancient sensations and rediscover tastes and scents. These products focus on providing sensory inputs, which allow them to be completely immersed in authentic tourist experiences (McCannell, 1973).

Experiential kinds of tourism aim at intensifying the sensations and emotions lived during holidays through the amplification of not only visual sensations but also gustatory, olfactory, tactile, and auditory stimuli (Ferrari et al., 2008). Nowadays, thanks to new modular supply patterns and new technologies, it is possible to offer creative holidays and new tourist products; there support the rediscovery of the five senses by means of experiences that encourage the return to sensations and emotions, often neglected in the past because of frenetic life-styles, mass tourism, consumerism, etc.

This chapter focuses on the importance of servicescapes in hedonic consumption, such as in the case of tourism. During the service delivery the physical evidence influences customers’ perceptions and levels of satisfactions; in some cases it could create scenic atmospheres, that offers enriching consumption experiences (Shostack, 1977), becoming in this way a paramount marketing instrument.

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