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Designing unique and memorable experiences: Co-creation and the Surprise Factor

International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems

Volume 3 Issue 1

Published: 2010
Author(s) Name: António Azevedo
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Abstract

The unique and memorable experience emerges as a strategic choice for tourism and event management organizations in order to capture an intangible differentiation. The paper proposes a theoretical framework of antecedents and outcomes of the salient experience memorizing and co-creation process. A survey was conducted with 80 post-graduate students who described a written narrative of their most memorable experiences. These experiences were classified within a grid (Pine and Gilmore, 1988): (un)controlled entertainment (D1/D2) versus (un)controlled exploring (D3/D4). Personnels responsiveness, sympathy, professionalism and personalized and unexpected surprises are pointed out as potential competitive advantages. The experience-mix was at some extent predicted in terms of self-concept attributes (organized/disorganized, rugged/delicate, and common/unique) and ideal hotel preferences (good for shopping; promotions; and children friendly). Keywords: event management; experiential marketing; co-creation; experience mix; experience typology.

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