Tourism and hospitality marketing: fantasy, feeling and fun

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management (Impact Factor: 0.93). 09/2006; 18(6):482-495. DOI: 10.1108/09596110610681520

ABSTRACT Purpose – Experiential marketing is arguably marketing's most contemporary orientation, but as with many marketing innovations it has been largely overlooked by those involved in tourism and hospitality marketing and promotion. Whilst in many industries companies have moved away from traditional features and benefits approaches, to putting experiential marketing centre-stage, marketing in the tourism and hospitality sectors does not appear to have explicitly engaged the theoretical issues involved. This raises the question what, if anything, does experiential marketing have to offer marketers in the disciplines of tourism and hospitality? In this paper, I will seek to introduce the experiential marketing debate and demonstrate how the questions raised by the concept are critical to an understanding of marketing theory and research within the tourism and hospitality sectors. Design/methodology/approach – Following the authors previous publications which sought to investigate alternative paradigms for studying hospitality consumers, this research attempts to consider the practical applications of one such model. Findings – The tourism and hospitality sectors cannot be seen to be immune to fundamental changes in the orientation of marketing. Innovative experience design will become an increasingly important component of tourism and hospitality firms core capabilities. Those who go beyond service excellence, and market experientially will lead the creation of value in the sector. Originality/value – Provides a framework as to how organisations might usefully implement an experiential marketing strategy.

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