Sustainability as a Consequence of Memory and Memorable Experience

Sustainability as a Consequence of Memory and Memorable Experience

Selin Kama
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4645-4.ch009
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


The degree of remembrance of an experience can affect an individual's contribution to social, cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability by transforming their behavior. In other words, memory and memorability are important predictors of sustainable behavior. Therefore, the focus of this study is to evaluate the memory and memorable experiences from the macro-sustainability perspective. Within this study, the impact of visitors' memorable experiences on sustainability and how sustainability shapes memorable experiences are evaluated conceptually. The results show that emotional and cognitive essence that makes tourism experiences memorable provides a competitive advantage for destinations by influencing the sustainability behaviors of visitors. In line with this study, the relationship between memory and sustainability behaviors of visitors must be evaluated via qualitative and quantitative methods.
Chapter Preview


Tourism and recreation, which have an important capacity to create growth in destinations, have environmental, social, cultural, and economic effects arising from human behavior (Saarinen, 2006). In this respect, sustainability, which is one of the most affected areas by human behavior, is a leading concept in developmental practices and research (Thal, 2016). Most research related to the subject examine the effects of the environmental (Thal, 2016; Han, 2021), economic (Qiu et al., 2019), social and cultural (or socio-cultural) (Helgadóttir et al., 2019) dimensions of sustainability in destinations separately. The contribution of these studies can be viewed two-fold.

First, especially in the economic and socio-cultural dimension, the concerns of the local community or benefits from tourism and recreation mobility are addressed in the research. Second, it is investigated how the sustainability of a destination affects memorable experiences of tourists (Moliner-Tena et al., 2021). Although there is a necessity of subjecting sustainability to wider theoretical and practical order to ensure a safer future (Cohen, 2010) studies on holistic and cumulative effects of the macro-sustainability and the motivations of visitors’ behavior are limited (Wan & Li, 2013).

This study discusses the sustainability from a macro perspective with the focus of memory and memorable experiences. In other words, in this study, rather than defining sustainability and the dimensions of sustainability or describing the known impact of people on sustainability, the impact of visitors' memorable experiences on sustainability, and how sustainability shapes memorable experiences are evaluated conceptually. Therefore, within the macro-sustainability perspective, the focus of this study is memory and memorable experiences.

Tourism and recreation businesses aim to offer visitors a new, intense and pleasurable feeling that stimulates the five senses to experience satisfying, unique and enriching experiences (Moliner-Tena et al., 2021). The fact that these experiences are unique enough to make an impact in the lives of visitors’ (Jorgenson et al., 2019), and creating strong memories define the essence of memorable experience. Businesses use the ongoing perception of who and what we are, based on experiences of daily events, to activate memories, to create continuities, and to adapt the present to the trajectories of experience (Brown & Reavey, 2015). Many activities experienced by visitors during the travel process form a tourism memory and form a guideline for understanding visitor behaviors and trends (Kim et al., 2021). Therefore, although studies on memory are insufficient in terms of content and scope, have gained importance in tourism and recreation research to determine and measure the essence that makes experiences memorable (de Freitas Coelho & Gosling, 2020; Kim, 2012; Tung et al., 2017).

Additionally, it has been proven that experiences which are strong enough to stay in the minds of visitors motivate behavioral tendencies (Kim et al., 2010; Coudounaris & Sthapit, 2017; Kim et al., 2022) which in turn motivate sustainable behaviors. Memory studies bring sustainability into the context of memorable experiences in line with the meanings that visitors attribute to the place and the image created (Chandralal & Valenzuela, 2013; Kim et al. 2017). The main reason for this is that tourism and recreation, as a resource-intensive industry involving human activities, causes significant economic, social, and environmental impacts on local communities (Lu & Nepal, 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Memorable Tourism Experience: Experiences that are powerful, meaningful, and unique enough to remember for a long time.

Novelty: It refers to the curiosity awaking and surprising content in which the level of familiarity and knowledge of individuals is low in the process of visiting certain destinations or activity areas.

Sustainability: Macro environmental factors that need to be developed and sustained in social, cultural, economic, and environmental dimensions in order to facilitate and improve the living conditions of future generations.

Memory: Mental activity that facilitates human life and directs behavior by mediating the recollection of events and facts.

Hedonism: The emotional or well-being state that ensures a high level of satisfaction, pleasure, fun and happiness experienced during the visit.

Local Culture: Local features of cultural, historical or lifestyle specific to the destination visited.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: