Understanding memorable tourism experiences: A case study

Published in: Research in Hospitality Management
Volume 8, issue 2, 2018 , pages: 93–99
DOI: 10.1080/22243534.2018.1553370
Author(s): Miranda CornelisseTourism, The Netherlands


The desire for new experiences that are truly authentic has become an important mainstream in the tourism industry. The main goal of this empirical case study was twofold: 1) To determine which concept of authenticity in tourism literature is most connected to Pine and Gilmore's theory on the search for authenticity in the context of the experience economy; and 2) after its application, to reflect on the scale of Kim et al.'s that measures memorable tourism experiences (MTEs). That scale was applied to Dutch tourists who visited the tourism destination Ylläs in Finnish Lapland during winter. This case study strengthens the idea that the increasing search for authentic tourism products within the experience economy does not imply a search for authenticity related to genuine artefacts alone. It also implies the search for constructed authenticity within existing, genuine places such as Ylläs. This outcome surprisingly fits Bruner's theory on genuine border zones and with that, asks for more large-scale research on the concept of authenticity in genuine border zones. Finally, based on the reflection of the scale, it suggests to do more research on different tourist types in relation to domains that influence the memorability of tourism experiences.

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