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Journal of Travel Research

http://jtr.sagepub.com/ Measuring Experience Economy Concepts: Tourism Applications


Haemoon Oh, Ann Marie Fiore and Miyoung Jeoung Journal of Travel Research 2007 46: 119 DOI: 10.1177/0047287507304039 The online version of this article can be found at: http://jtr.sagepub.com/content/46/2/119

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Measuring Experience Economy Concepts: Tourism Applications


HAEMOON OH, ANN MARIE FIORE, AND MIYOUNG JEOUNG The authors develop a measurement scale tapping Pine and Gilmores (1999) four realms of experience that is applicable to lodging and, potentially, tourism research across various destinations. Focusing on the bed-and-breakfast industry, the authors conducted preliminary qualitative studies and a subsequent field survey to collect data from bed-and-breakfast owners and guests to develop and test a proposed model of experience economy concepts. The proposed measurement model includes four realms of experience and four theoretically justifiable nomological consequences. The data supported the dimensional structure of the four realms of experience, providing empirical evidence for both face and nomological validities of these realms and a starting point for measuring emerging experience economy concepts and practices within lodging and tourism settings. The authors discuss ways the measurement scale can be further refined for adoption by destination marketers and directions for future research. Keywords: experience economy; scale development; bed and breakfast; tourist experience; destination marketing; tourism motivation Some of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy are related to the consumption of experiences (Pine and Gilmore 1999; Richards 2001). According to Pine and Gilmore (1999; Gilmore and Pine 2002a, 2002b), in the emerging experience economy, consumers seek unique experiences beyond merely consuming products and services because the consistent, high level of product and service quality can no longer be used to differentiate choices for consumers. This new demand for unique and memorable experiences requires firms to develop a distinct value-added provision for products and services that have already achieved a consistent, high level of functional quality. For instance, a cooking demonstration or a themed guestroom at a rural bed-and-breakfast facility offers guests educational, entertaining, and esthetic experiences, or forms of experiential value added to its highly personalized, professionally managed lodging facility. Pine and Gilmore (1999) argued that businesses need to shift their paradigm from the delivery-focused service economy that emphasizes high quality offerings to the staged experience economy that creates a memorable consumption experience. Tourism has been at the forefront of staging experience, as Sternberg (1997, pp. 952, 954) succinctly put, tourism primarily sells a staged experience . . . tourisms central productive activity [is] the creation of the touristic experience. Visiting a particular tourist destination is typically motivated less by the elaborated physical characteristics of the site than by the powerful mental and emotional image or pre-experience the tourist has for the expected experience at the destination. Tourists flocked to the bridges of Madison County in rural Iowa to immerse, at least temporarily, in the romantic fantasy involving the films two lovers more than to see the actual details of the bridge. In essence, what tourists primarily seek and consume at destinations is engaging experiences accompanied by the goods and/or service components of the destinations. Hence, entire tourist destinations are beginning to be positioned as experiences (Richards 2001). Experience has served as a key construct in travel and tourism research as well as destination positioning. Central to MacCannells (1989) tourist experience, for example, is the tourists quest for an authentic experience; tourism destinations are viewed as a means to stage the authenticity that cannot be found in the tourists daily life. Searching for selfidentity as a tourist was an early classification criterion in the phenomenology of tourist experiences (Cohen 1979). The benefit chain of causality view of tourism motivations tends to position tourist experience as a construct that transforms destination settings and activities into ultimate benefits and value that tourists obtain by visiting the destination (see Driver et al. 1987; Haas, Driver, and Brown 1980; Manning 1986). Similarly, the hierarchical means-end

Haemoon Oh is an associate professor in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management program at Iowa State University in Ames where he directs the Foodservice and Lodging Management graduate program and teaches subjects focused on hospitality marketing, law, and graduate research. His research interests include experiential consumption and evaluations, scale development, and gain and loss judgments. Ann Marie Fiore is a professor in the College of Human Science at Iowa State University in Ames and is the director of Graduate Education for the Textiles and Clothing program. Her research and teaching focus on the effects of hedonic experience and experiential marketing on consumer behavior. She publishes mainly in marketing- and e-commercerelated journals. Miyoung Jeong is an assistant professor in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management program at Iowa State University in Ames. Her research interests include lodging operations, consumers online information search, and hospitality information technology with an emphasis on electronic commerce. This research was funded by the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at Iowa State University. The authors also thank the editor and reviewers for their constructive comments on the earlier versions of this paper. Part of this study was presented at the annual Travel and Tourism Research Association conference in Montreal, Canada, in 2004.
Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 46, November 2007, 119-132 DOI: 10.1177/0047287507304039 2007 Sage Publications

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model of tourist experience is based on the view that concrete tourism activities are means to achieving abstract, intrinsic experiences (i.e., the end) (Klenosky, Gengler, and Mulvey 1993). More recently, the nature of tourist experience was the focus of analysis in understanding heritage tourism behavior (Prentice, Witt, and Hamer 1998) and destination-specific tourism motivations (Prentice 2004). Although experience has remained pivotal to tourism phenomenon and research, it has defied a unifying definition and operationalization. Prentice (2004) discussed several cogent models of tourist motivations that are believed to shape the tourists experience, and concluded that the tourists experience and motivations are as diverse as the characteristics of destinations and tourists. Whereas such a tourist- or destination-specific approach to understanding tourist motivation and experience may lead to enriched theoretical expositions of tourist behavior, destination marketers are likely to find it useful to have available a generalized, theory-embedded framework for managing and benchmarking their offerings. The present research aimed to develop an initial measurement scale of tourists destination lodging experiences, which may be modified to measure other types of tourist experience. To this end, Pine and Gilmores (1999; Gilmore and Pine 2002a, 2002b) experience economy concepts (four realms of experience) were operationalized and tested using customers lodging experience with rural bed-and-breakfasts (hereafter, B&B). Although Pine and Gilmore eloquently presented a practical, conceptual framework for understanding the nature of customer experience in general, we have not found a corresponding measurement tool published. Adding to Pine and Gilmores perspectives on the experience economy, this study attempts to introduce relevant theoretical variables, such as arousal, memories, overall quality, and customer satisfaction, in an effort to test the predictive validity of guests lodging experience for some important variables related to business success. Thus, this study serves two purposes: (1) to provide scales for measuring experience economy concepts and (2) to empirically test the predictive validity of experience economy concepts applied to the B&B lodging experience. Whereas the focus here is on B&B lodging experience, the scales were designed to be modifiable for application to other tourism sectors. Guest experiences within the U.S. B&B industry provided a desirable study setting for several reasons. The nature of B&B accommodations is said to be highly experiential (McIntosh and Siggs 2005; Monty and Skidmore 2003). This specialist form of accommodation (Morrison et al. 1996) tends to offer guests unique opportunities to interact with local people, including the host, as well as provide a sense of hominess and novelty (Johnston-Walker 1999). Whereas recent research has indicated a rapid growth in demand for this nontraditional form of accommodations, further research is needed to fully understand the experiential aspects of the B&B accommodations (Johnston-Walker 1999; McIntosh and Siggs 2005; Zane 1997). Gilmore and Pine (2002b) used lodging experience, including B&B experience, in anecdotal illustrations of experience economy concepts. Finally, lodging is an extension of the tourism experience, even if it may not be a primary motivating factor in travel decisions (McIntosh and Siggs 2005; Wight 1998).

THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY AND TOURISM


Tourism has principally been concerned with the tourist experience of visiting, seeing, learning, enjoying, and living in a different mode of life (Stamboulis and Skayannis 2003). In this sense, everything tourists go through at a destination can be experience, be it behavioral or perceptual, cognitive or emotional, or expressed or implied. To the stakeholders of tourism, such as tourists, destination marketers, local residents, and policy makers, the nature and scope of the experience offered by a destination and processed by tourists determine the value of the destination. Hence, researchers have emphasized understanding what the tourist experience is and how it is formed as a result of visiting a destination. The two-dimensional model of tourist values proposed by Crick-Furman and Prentice (2000) exemplifies the nature of the tourist experience, whereas the type analysis by Uriely, Yonay, and Simchai (2002) and the analysis of benefit determinants by Prentice, Witt, and Hamer (1998) reflect how the tourist experience was formed. Prentice (2004) also introduced two intrinsic motivation models, the romantic and mass tourism paradigms, to explain the diversity of tourist experiences by means of underlying tourist motivations. As shown in these studies, it is indeed a challenging task to capture all elements experienced by a tourist at a destination in a concise measurement model for the purpose of assessing the performance or value of a destination. Pine and Gilmore (1999; Gilmore and Pine 2002a, 2002b) proposed the experience economy as an emerging paradigm for enhancing business performance across a wide range of industries, including tourism and hospitality. The experience economy concept has been introduced sporadically to tourism research and it adds to the dimensions by which to interpret tourist experience (e.g., Richards, 2001; Stamboulis and Skayannis 2003). Pine and Gilmore (1999, p. 12) defined experience from a business perspective: Experiences are events that engage individuals in a personal way; but we surmise that they would define experience from a consumer perspective as enjoyable, engaging, memorable encounters for those consuming these events. According to Pine and Gilmore (1999), there are four realms (or dimensions) of experience differentiated by the level and form of customer involvement in business offerings, as depicted in Figure 1. Along the customer participation axis, passive participation of the customer in business (or destination) offerings characterizes the entertainment and esthetic dimensions, whereas educational and escapist dimensions reflect active participation. The tourist who passively participates in destination activities does not directly affect or influence the performance of the destination (business), whereas an active participant will personally affect the performance or event that becomes part of his or her experience. Along the absorption-immersion axis, the tourist typically absorbs entertaining and educational offerings of a destination and immerses in the destination environment resulting in esthetic or escapist experiences. Absorption in this context is defined as occupying a persons attention by bringing the experience into the mind and immersion as becoming physically (or virtually) a part of the experience itself (Pine and Gilmore 1999, p. 31). Of course, classifying tourist experiences into

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the four dimensions based on the two axes in Figure 1 should not be adopted as a hard-and-fast rule because, in reality, boundaries between the dimensions are often amorphous. For instance, consider the conspicuous trend toward edutainment in managing science museums where educational and entertainment experiences merge. However, each experience dimension standing alone is unique and contributes to the consummation of a destination experience, with an ideal combination of all four dimensions yielding an optimal tourist experience, according to Pine and Gilmore (i.e., the sweet spot is Pine and Gilmores term for the optimal experience in Figure 1). With educational experiences, a tourist absorbs the events unfolding before him at a destination, while actively participating through interactive engagement of the mind and/or the body. Typically, tourists increase their skills and knowledge, either general or specific, through educational experiences at the destinations they visit. For instance, visitors to an art festival may learn the historical background of knitting and weaving presented in various ways (brochures, conversations with the artist, etc.) and may increase their skills by trying to weave on a simple loom following the artists instructions. Some tourist destinations are designed exclusively for creating an educational experience. Parents and children visiting the Living History Farm in Iowa are educated about 300 years of farming history and attend demonstrations of historical farm skills, such as rope making, spinning, weaving, wood carving, and chair caning. Thus, to truly create an educational experience, a tourist must increase his knowledge and/or skills through educational events that actively engage the mind (for intellectual education) and/or the body (for physical training) (Pine and Gilmore 1999). Frequently, the educational experience of a trip has been measured to assess overall tourist experiences with a target destination using such items as I feel that I have learnt something of importance and I have gained insight into . . . (e.g., Prentice,

FIGURE 1 FOUR REALMS OF EXPERIENCE (ADAPTED FROM PINE AND GILMORE, 1999, WITH PERMISSION)

Witt, and Hamer 1998). Prentices romantic paradigm (2004) points to tourists intrinsic motivation to consume the extraordinary (i.e., trip taking) as a means to self-education and personal enlightenment. In esthetic experiences, tourists enjoy being in the destination environment without affecting or altering the nature of the environment presented to them. They passively appreciate, or are influenced by, the way the destination appeals to their senses, no matter the level of authenticity of the destination environment. Such experiences let them just be there. Many sightseeing tourist activities represent esthetic experiences. Tourists, for example, may come to Cape Cod just to enjoy the serenity of the beach and rhythm of the Atlantic Ocean. The importance of the esthetic experience is well reflected in the concepts of servicescape or atmospherics for services marketing (Bitner 1992; Lovelock and Wirtz 2004); that is, customers patronage is highly influenced by the environmental characteristics of the business physical setting and service. Hence, the esthetic experience is likely to be an important determinant of destination evaluations and the overall experience. Entertainment provides one of the oldest forms of experience and it is one of the most developed and pervasive in todays business environment (Pine and Gilmore 1999). Much like the esthetic dimension, entertainment requires that the offerings catch and occupy customers attention and readiness. The entertainment experience occurs commonly when tourists passively observe activities and/or performances of others, including listening to music and reading for pleasures at destinations. Watching and listening to an Elvis Presley impersonator singing at a local music festival or watching a clown ride a tall unicycle at an amusement park are examples of the entertainment experience. Although some tourist experiences, such as a religious pilgrimage, may eschew entertainment offerings, in general they add to most destinations and enrich the experience. Although tourism researchers have not been concerned specifically with program-oriented entertainment offerings at particular destinations, the entertainment experience has been measured as an outcome of a trip, as reflected in such measurement items as fun (e.g., Crick-Furman and Prentice 2000). The escapist experience requires greater immersion and participation than entertainment and educational experiences. Tourists participating in escapist experiences do not just embark from but also voyage to a specific place and participate in activities worthy of their time (Pine and Gilmore 1999). Escapist experience requires that the tourist affect actual performances or occurrences in the real or virtual environment. In general, tourism is a way for people to escape from their daily life and return to the routine after experiencing the extraordinary (i.e., nonroutine life). The escapist experience may be one of the most frequently listed or assumed motive in tourism research (see Prentices [2004] mass tourism paradigm). To Cohen (1979), a fundamental reason for taking a trip was the search for a meaningful life and/or for the self center elsewhere away from their daily life. To positive functionalists like Gross (1961), tourists escape from their daily life is viewed as a timeout leisure activity that is necessary for healthy functioning of their life and society. In contrast, Boorstin (1964) and MacCannell (1973) agree that people live inauthentic, alienated lives and occasionally escape such discontent lives in search of an authentic, satisfying life during travels

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to different cultures and countries. Tourists may want to escape their regular environments to suspend the power of norms and values that govern their ordinary lives or to think about their lives and societies from a different perspective (Turner 1973). Despite its common inclusion as an important function of the destination in tourism research, the escapist experience has not been clearly defined and measured for effective destination management. A close look at the phenomenon of escape suggests that at least three components need to be considered for clear understanding. First, many people depart from their daily life just to distant themselves from the daily routines, no matter what the daily routines are, where they head, and what they do. They just want to get away. This type of escape centers on fleeing from or avoiding routines of daily life temporarily, taking a break, and returning refreshed and recreated. The second type of escape is destination driven. People want to escape to a particular destination (the pull), regardless of their reasons to escape the daily life. They usually obtain an escapist experience based on such a travel motivation. The third component of escape is tourists active involvement in specific activities at the destination in which they become instrumental in orchestrating an escapist experience. In this mode, escaping the daily life and choosing a destination tend to become secondary decision issues as the tourist is motivated most by the opportunity to partake a different character or identity through active immersion in the target activities at the destination. These getting-away, immersing-into-destination, and partaking-a-different-character components of escape imply different tourism behaviors and require different destination management approaches. All three are required in Pine and Gilmores approach to escapist experience applied to tourism. Pine and Gilmores four realms of experience have recently been introduced to the tourism and hospitality literature (see Gilmore and Pine 2002b; Stamboulis and Skayannis 2003). They provide a conceptual fit to the tourism context by encompassing various aspects of tourism experiences across different destinations. The four realms also offer practicality for destination management as they may be easily used for destination evaluations. Nevertheless, most of Pine and Gilmores and other researchers discussions on the experience economy have been largely conceptual without providing scales for empirical measurement of the tourist experience. Given its potential usefulness for tourism research, general measurement scales of the experience economys four realms of experience are needed for practical application as well as theoretical advancement. Therefore, a practical goal in this study of tourist experiences was to develop measurement scales of tourist experiences that can satisfy the needs of two primary stakeholders: tourists and destination marketers. For both groups, measuring and understanding tourist experience is an important step toward enriching the value of a destination because such a process would provide feedback regarding destination management and performance. The present study attempted to develop parsimonious scales and achieve a high level of both explanatory and predictive power. The measurement items of the scale were developed with careful consideration given to their level of abstraction or specificity (for related discussions, see Oh [2001] and Oh and Parks [1997]). In addition, the scales needed to

offer a strong diagnostic ability for ease of use by destination marketers.

THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY IN THE TOURISM DECISION PROCESS


Because Pine and Gilmores (1999) realms of experience focus on describing the goodness of destination offerings in four summary dimensions, it is useful to consider the potential antecedents and consequences of these realms of experience. In a general sense, tourists are believed to hold personal values that permeate their life and that embed their choice of a specific destination and/or target tourist experience (Madrigal and Kahle 1994). Such values, once directed at a specific target (i.e., a trip to take), give rise to travel motives, which function as the push factor for the upcoming trip taking. Once travel motives coalesce, a set of relevant destinations is evoked along with the tourists attitude associated with each destination in the set. At this point, the expected value of the experience from a destination, known as the pull factor or travel motivation, often solidifies or weakens the tourists intention to choose the destination. Travel motives and motivations have been used as key variables for market segmentation studies on tourist experiences (e.g., Loker-Murphy 1996; Prentice, Witt, and Hamer 1998). Although tourism research on destination experiences has assumed that personal values were inextricably linked to tourist experiences, supporting empirical evidence is limited. Only a few researchers have attempted to explicate how global person values reduce to perceptions of tourist experiences for a particular destination (e.g., Klenosky, Gengler, and Mulvey 1993). Nonetheless, this kind of personenvironment relationship is argued to be unstable, inconsistent, and disconnected because the environment (e.g., the experience at a destination) is not a routine part of daily life for most people (Burningham and OBrien 1994). Due to the infrequency of tourism experience in the life of most people, motive- or value-based phenomenology of tourist experiences can be futile (Aitken and Bjorklund 1988). Moreover, values may not be considered as enduring through all activities of the person and, thus, tourist experiences may be driven instead by immediate goals and objectives of the tourist interacting with the focal environment or destination (Bagozzi and Warshaw 1990; Crick-Furman and Prentice 2000). Oh (2001) reasoned why a priori comparison standards, such as expectations, importance, and personal values, often have little bearing on postexperience evaluations in the hospitality consumption context. In contrast, specific consequences of tourist experiences have drawn less research attention than the antecedents discussed above. While it is apparent that internalized benefits, such as mental or spiritual recreation, well-being, and fulfillment, may be long-term tourism benefits, more destination- or individual travel-specific outcomes of the experience have not been widely conceptualized, particularly in line with Pine and Gilmores conceptual framework. These rather transaction-oriented consequences are important for the sake of destination management because they provide travel marketers with not only diagnostic summary evaluations of destination offerings but also better understanding of the factors affecting the tourists future destination choice.

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Pine and Gilmore (1999; Gilmore and Pine 2002a, 2002b) suggest that a well-staged experience leads to enhanced memorythat is, remembering a particular eventwhich will shape the tourists attitude toward the destination in a positive manner. They suggest practical strategies of offering tourists motifs or memorabilia to create vivid memories about the target-destination experience. At the heart of engineering Pine and Gilmores four realms of experience, therefore, is the creation of positive memories; fostering a memorable experience is essential to a destinations ability to provide the four realms of experience. Memories involve both cognitive and affective readiness of relevant information both volitionally and involuntarily retrievable by the brain for specific purposes of information processing. Note that memories also tend to be strong when tourist experiences are disappointing. Negative destination experiences, such as critical service or product failures, will certainly lead to a vivid memory instilling a negative attitude toward the destination. In this sense, memories are likely to act as an important filtering mechanism linking the experience to other attitudinal outcomes of tourist experience. Memories may be enhanced by the presence of sensorial experiences, as emotional events appealing to the senses tend to be remembered better than nonemotional events (Dolcos and Cabeza 2002). Sensorializing the target destination to appeal to tourists five senses is likely to result in additive effects on memories because sensory-based emotional information has privileged access to cognitive processing resources leading to stronger memory formation (Dolcos and Cabeza 2002; Pine and Gilmore 1999). One indicator of sensorial and/or emotive destination experiences is psychological arousal, which may be defined as the intensity of physiological response to a stimulus on the continuum from calmness to excitement. Coupled with its orthogonal, valence-imposed unpleasantnesspleasantness dimension, the arousal dimension is known to render a semantic circumplex structure of affect (Bradley and Lang 1994; Feldman 1995; Mano and Oliver 1993; Russell 1979, 1991). Arousal was found to create a positive halo effect in formation of attitudes immediately following evaluations (of a destination) (Bagozzi 1996; Eroglu, Machleit, and Davis 2003; Sanbonmatsu and Kardes 1988). Hence, given the fact that the experience economy framework mainly involves marketing actions of creating experiences that result in positive memories, it is highly likely that the subsequent (positive) arousal will elicit positive evaluations. In other research, perceived overall quality and customer (tourist) satisfaction have been used as global evaluations immediately following a consumption experience or a destination visit (see Oh and Parks [1997] for a comprehensive review). Perceived quality is overall excellence of the target destination or experience (Zeithaml 1988), while customer satisfaction refers to the summary psychological state arising immediately from consumption experience (Oliver 1997). Together, overall quality and satisfaction can provide summary rational and emotional assessments of the focal destination experience (Oh 1999). Furthermore, satisfaction, which can be viewed as a main precursor of purchase-related attitudes, is known to result from positive arousal and affect after consuming both utilitarian and hedonic experiences (see Mano and Oliver 1993; Oliver, Rust, and Varki 1997; Voss, Spangenberg, and Grohmann 2003).

In essence, experience of a destination involves all events, and activities offered to tourists become the source of value and evaluations for the destination. From a standpoint of the tourist decision-making process, the way tourists perceive a destination experience may be linked to prepurchase decision parameters, such as values, motives, and attitudes, although some researchers have argued (as discussed earlier) that the link is not tenable. The experience staged at a destination is likely to result in strong (positive) memories, corresponding psychological arousal, positive perceptions of overall destination quality, and eventually tourist satisfaction. It should be noted, however, that due to the empirical nature of the relationships between the four realms of experience and the four proposed consequences (i.e., memory, arousal, perceived overall quality, and tourist satisfaction) the strength of the relationships may be contingent upon the destinations thematic appeals. That is, certain destinations are staged intentionally to create an educational experience; in this case, one should expect that the educational performance of the destination accounts for more variance in these consequences than do the other three experience dimensions. The level of measurement with the experience economy framework that focuses on the overall level of destination performance should be noted as well, although destination-specific marketing efforts and/or programs can be implemented and measured within each dimension of the experience.

METHODS
To develop a measurement scale for Pine and Gilmores four realms of experience, a multiphased study was conducted with the B&B industry as the research setting. Pine and Gilmore (1999; Gilmore and Pine 2002a, 2002b) recently offered the experience economy as an emerging framework to understand and evaluate experiential consumptions across various industries and products. The concept has both conceptual and practical relevance to the tourism industry, but its applicability is quite limited due to the absence of empirical measurement scales. This multiphased research project closely followed Churchills (1979) procedure for developing a multivariate measurement scale for marketing constructs and Gerbing and Andersons (1988) guidelines for establishing measurement reliabilities. This research was phased sequentially in order of reviews of related literature; discussions of the concepts applicability to destination management via a doctorate seminar course for a semester; extensive direct discussions with Pine and Gilmore, coupled with their review and feedback on this studys conceptualization and methods; a qualitative study for initial scale item generation; an investment need study with target B&B owners or operators; and a field survey with B&B guests. This article reports major findings from the initial scale development efforts that include the preliminary qualitative study and, mainly, the B&B guest survey. Part of the investment needs assessment study with the B&B owner/operators are used to corroborate findings about the relative importance of the four realms of experience. The B&B industry was used for this pilot scale development study because of its industry-wide marketing focus on the niche of experiential lodging and its rising managerial interests not only as a

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lodging facility but also as a tourist destination in many locations (Mandelbaum 2001; Monty and Skidmore 2003; Roberts 2002; Silverman 2003; Zane 1997). Other reasons for using the B&B industry were discussed earlier.

survey distribution process, although it is reasonable to determine the response rate to be 29.4% ( 419/[15 95]) by assuming that each B&B operator distributed all 15 questionnaires as we instructed. The sample seemed to cover sufficiently diverse guests and properties as planned.

The Preliminary Qualitative Study


Pine and Gilmores work and tourism experience literature were reviewed extensively to glean relevant measurement items for each of the realms and, then, a series of brainstorming sessions were completed along with several visits to local B&B operations and personal interviews with B&B operators to generate the initial items that could capture the guests B&B experience. The primary goal in this research phase was to generate as many measurement items as possible to cover B&B operations, in line with the four dimensions (realms) of experience. As a result, a total of 56 items were initially constructed, with 15 each for the educational and escapist, 10 for the entertainment, and 16 for the esthetic experience dimension. The 56 items were subsequently reduced to 30 items through a panel review that was conducted independently by four active hospitality researchers, five hospitality graduate students, and one potential B&B customer. These reviewers focused on eliminating redundant items and refining wordings for clarity of meaning. The 30 items were then subjected to a categorization task performed independently by five trained judges who sorted the items according to their match with the definition provided for each experience dimension. This categorization task further eliminated 6 items, leaving 24 items each correctly classified, unanimously agreed on by the judges with no cross-classification. The 24 items included 6 items each for the four experience dimensions.

Measurement
All model constructs were measured using multiple items (Churchill 1979). All experience dimension items were operationalized on a 7-point strongly disagreestrongly agree scale. To reduce potential method variance due to proximity of items of the same construct within the questionnaire, the order of appearance of the items within the experience scale was randomized. Two reverse-coded items were also planted randomly within the measurement item set. Reliability of the 24 experience dimension items and 11 items for the consequence variables was assessed using the guest survey data by examining item-to-dimension correlations (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry 1988) and the measurement model (Anderson and Gerbing 1988; Bagozzi and Yi 1988; Gerbing and Anderson 1988). These scale refinement procedures resulted in the final 16 experience economy items, 4 items for each of the experience dimensions. Two measurement items from each dimension were dropped for reasons such as significant cross-loadings, collinearity, and/or Heywood cases (Bagozzi and Yi 1988; Boomsma 2000). The measurement items and their descriptive statistics appear in Table 2. The structural measurement model included not only the measures of the four experience dimensions but also the four proposed potential consequences (i.e., arousal, memory, overall quality, satisfaction) so that the model structure could be assessed more comprehensively. These consequence variables served as criterion variables for assessing nomological validity of the experience scales (Mathwick, Malhotra, and Rigdon 2001, 2002). To support nomological validity in this case, the four experience dimensions must predict the four consequence variables as predicted. All measurement items of the consequence constructs were operationalized using a 7-point scale. Specifically, arousal included four items tapping how interesting, stimulating, exciting, or enjoyable the B&B stay was with not at allvery much as scale anchors (see Bradley and Lang [1994] for an expanded scale of arousal). Only three arousal items were retained as a result of the empirical reliability assessment (see Table 2). Based on the Pine and Gilmores framework (1999), three items were newly developed to tap the guests memories about the B&B stay by using a strongly disagreestrongly agree scale. Based on Zeithamls (1988) definition of perceived quality, overall B&B quality was measured with poorexcellent and inferiorsuperior scale items. Finally, two items (very dissatisfiedvery satisfied and terribledelighted) gauged the level of customer satisfaction (see Oh and Parks 1997).

Sampling
For empirical evaluation of the 24 experience dimension items finalized in this qualitative study phase, a field survey was conducted with guests of B&B facilities in a Midwestern state of the United States. These B&Bs offered various experiential elements of a tourist destination. All 245 B&B operators listed in the states travel guide (2003) were asked to participate in a study of investment needs assessment, followed by a request to distribute our guest surveys to their guests in exchange for a summary report of the research findings. Of these, 95 B&B operators agreed to distribute guest surveys. Each of them was supplied with 15 self-administered guest surveys and instructed to randomly distribute the questionnaire to guests during a recent 3-summer-month study period (May 16August 15). The maximum number of the sample from each property was intentionally limited to 15 in order to increase diversity in the sampling frame, which could add to generalizability of the findings. The cooperating guests were asked to return their completed questionnaire in a sealed self-addressed envelope either directly to the researchers or to the B&B operator who then forwarded the sealed envelopes to us. As an incentive, each participating guest was included in a drawing to win one of two $100 gift certificates for a stay at any B&B in the sample state. A total of 419 guests returned the questionnaire, representing 58 of the 95 participating B&Bs, with an average of 7 questionnaires (ranging from 1 to 13) per B&B. An exact response rate could not be calculated due to the researchers lack of direct control over the entire

FINDINGS
The sample characteristics appear in Table 1. The majority of respondents was female (72%), married (77%), and had at least four year college education (70%). The mean

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JOURNAL OF TRAVEL RESEARCH 125 TABLE 1 RESPONDENT CHARACTERISTICS AND DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS Variable Gender Age Annual household income Category Male Female Mean Median Less than $30,000 $30,000-$54,999 $55,000-$74,999 $75,000-$99,999 $100,000 or above Single Married Divorced Other Less than high school High school Associate degree Bachelor degree Masters degree Doctoral degree Referral from friends and family Guidebook B&Bs brochure Magazine article Travel agent Internet Other Yes No Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median Distribution* 104 (24.8) 271 (72.3) 51.5 (std. 53.0 38 (9.9) 103 (26.8) 77 (20.0) 80 (20.8) 87 (22.6) 47 (11.6) 311 (77.0) 29 (7.2) 17 (4.2) 0 62 (16.1) 53 (13.8) 138 (35.9) 89 (23.2) 42 (10.9) 163 (41.3) 38 (9.6) 10 (2.5) 4 (1.0) 1 (0.3) 121 (30.6) 82 (14.7) 125 (29.9) 293 (70.1) 1.7 (std. 1.0 3.1 (std. 1.0 2.3 (std. 2.0

13.9)

Marital status

Highest level of education

Information source about the B&B

Previously stayed at this B&B Number of B&Bs stayed in previous year Travel party size Number of days staying on this trip

3.3) 2.9) 1.2)

*Entries are the number of respondents with valid percentage in parenthesis, except where indicated; frequencies may not sum to the total number of respondents due to missing values.

age was 51.6 (median = 53, range = 2090) and the respondents predominantly relied on the recommendation of friends or family members (41%) and the Internet (30%) to learn about the B&B they stayed. Fewer than one-third of the respondents had stayed at the same B&B previously and the average number of B&Bs they stayed at in the previous year was 1.7 (median = 1, range = 120). Typically, they were traveling with another person and stayed at the B&B for 2 days. Although not included in Table 1, the respondents reported that when traveling they stayed at a hotel approximately 80% (median) of the time; hence, their B&B stays did not seem to be typical of their lodging choice. Approximately 33% originated in the same state of the B&B location, followed by at least another 33% originating from neighboring Midwest states. About 65% of the participating B&Bs had 4 or fewer rooms and only 17% had 7 or more rooms. The majority of the B&Bs (72%) were located in rural communities with a population size of fewer than 10,000 residents. With the deletion of a few items, the experience scales for the B&B sample could achieve structurally reliable measurement properties. LISREL 8 (Joreskog and Sorbom 1993) was used to first assess the measurement model of the

16 experience items, with inclusion of the individual items for the four consequence constructs. A measurement model, often called as confirmatory factor analysis, is assessed primarily to test whether the measurement items are structurally consistent with the embedded theory (i.e., the structure of the experience realms in this case) or with any a priori logic of measurement design. The measurement model in this study resulted in good fit ( 2 = 481.7, d.f. = 271, CFI = .96, RMSEA = .054), based on the selected approximation fit indices (e.g., CFI and RMSEA). The use of approximation fit indices is widely recommended due to the sensitivity of the 2 test to larger sample sizes (Brown and Cudeck 1993; Hu and Bentler 1999). The factor loadings were all higher than .62 with highly significant t-values, thereby demonstrating convergent validity of the items to each factor (Bagozzi and Yi 1988). The squared multiple correlations for all 26 items (i.e., 16 for the four experience dimensions and 10 for the four consequence constructs) averaged 74%, lending further support for convergent validity (Anderson and Gerbing 1988; Bagozzi and Yi 1988). The discriminant validity between the model constructs was well established as none of the confidence intervals of the between-construct correlations included the

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value of unity (=1.0) (Anderson and Gerbing 1988; Fornell and Larcker 1981). Furthermore, the reliability of each construct exceeded a suggested minimum of .60 (Bagozzi and Yi 1988); the amount of variance extracted for each construct was higher than the suggested minimum of .50 (Fornell and Larcker 1981); and Cronbachs alphas for each construct satisfied a minimum of .70 (Nunnally 1978). Table 2 summarizes the results related to measurement properties and Table 3 is the between-construct correlation matrix that shows moderate correlations among the four experience constructs and moderate to high correlations among the consequence constructs. Results from the measurement model collectively suggest that the target constructs of the model were measured reliably.

A test of nomological validity of the four experience dimensions was conducted based on the measurement model above by examining the relationships between the experience dimensions and the four criterion constructs (Mathwick, Malhotra, and Rigdon 2001). The respecified model fit remained unchanged (see Table 4, first-order factor model). Note first from the measurement model hat all correlations (i.e., the phi matrix) between the four experience dimensions and the criterion variables were statistically significant ( p .01, see Table 3), suggesting that the experience dimensions had implications for purchaserelated arousal, memory, quality judgments, and satisfaction. The first-order factor model for nomological validity (see the left side of Table 4) revealed that both educational

TABLE 2 MEASUREMENT ITEMS AND DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS Measurement Items for Experience Constructs* Education (factor loadings .82 .94): The experience has made me more knowledgeable I learned a lot It stimulated my curiosity to learn new things It was a real learning experience The experience was highly educational to me The experience really enhanced my skills Esthetics (factor loadings .62 .91): I felt a real sense of harmony Just being here was very pleasant The setting was pretty bland (reverse coded) The setting was very attractive The setting really showed attention to design detail The setting provided pleasure to my senses Entertainment (factor loadings .82 .93): Activities of others were amusing to watch Watching others perform was captivating I really enjoyed watching what others were doing Activities of others were fun to watch Watching activities of others was very entertaining What others did was boring to watch Escapism (factor loadings .68 .82): I felt I played a different character here I felt like I was living in a different time or place The experience here let me imagine being someone else I completely escaped from reality I totally forgot about my daily routine I felt I was in a different world Arousal (factor loadings .85 .90): How interesting was your stay at this B&B? How stimulating was your stay at this B&B? How exciting was your stay at this B&B? How enjoyable was your stay at this B&B? Memory (factor loadings .88 .95): I will have wonderful memories about this B&B I will remember many positive things about this B&B I wont forget my experience at this B&B Overall perceived quality (factor loadings .95 and .96): Poor . . . Excellent Inferior . . . Superior Customer satisfaction (factor loadings .92 and .79): Very dissatisfied . . . Very satisfied Terrible . . . Delighted Mean (SD) 4.44 4.30 4.43 4.61 (1.83) (1.87) (1.87) (1.76) .85 5.88 6.39 6.02 6.26 (1.47) (.96) (1.50) (1.08) .94 4.52 3.74 4.14 3.82 (1.83) (1.91) (1.94) (1.91) .83 3.13 4.66 3.55 4.15 (1.96) (1.95) (2.07) (2.02) .91 6.14 (1.04) 5.83 (1.28) 5.70 (1.35) .93 6.38 (1.03) 6.46 (.92) 6.39 (.99) .96 6.58 (.73) 6.51 (.79) .84 6.61 (.76) 6.49 (1.06) .73 .77 .93 .96 .82 .92 .78 .91 .64 .85 .84 .95 .67 .77 Composite Reliability .93 Variance Extracted .84 .94

* The italicized items were dropped to refine the measurement model and excluded in calculations of all descriptive statistics presented in this table.
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JOURNAL OF TRAVEL RESEARCH 127 TABLE 3 CORRELATIONS AMONG THE CONSTRUCTS* Variable 1. Education 2. Esthetics 3. Entertainment 4. Escapism 5. Arousal 6. Memory 7. Overall quality 8. Satisfaction 1 1.00 .47 .73 .70 .62 .42 .36 .37 2 1.00 .37 .40 .74 .85 .84 .86 3 4 5 6 7 8

1.00 .76 .55 .30 .29 .28

1.00 .52 .31 .32 .27

1.00 .80 .69 .69

1.00 .80 .82

1.00 .83

1.00

*All correlations are statistically significant (p .05) and their 95% confidence intervals do not include unity; the input data matrix consisting of correlations among the individual measurement items are available from the authors upon request.

and esthetic experiences were significantly (p .05) related to arousal and that the entertainment dimension was marginally related to arousal (p .07). In particular, the esthetic dimension had a significant (p .01) relationship with arousal, memory, overall quality, and guest satisfaction. The amount of shared variance was 66% for arousal, 72% for memory, 71% for overall quality, and 75% for satisfaction, all considered strong. To check the face validity of the finding on the dominant influence of the esthetic experience dimension, we analyzed another set of data collected separately as part of a larger research project from the B&B operators of the state where this study was conducted. In that survey, the B&B operators were asked a series of questions addressing their resource allocation or investment priorities along the four dimensions of the experience economy and the aspects of their B&B operations that needed help for improvement. The appendix presents relevant questions asked and their descriptive results. Consistent with the dominant effect of the esthetic dimension, B&B operators reported that they had paid the greatest attention to the esthetic dimension in their need assessments for improvement of their property, followed by the escapist dimension. The education and entertainment experiences were not high investment priorities. They also needed the greatest help in improving the esthetic dimension of their B&B facilities. The right side of Table 4 presents the results of a secondorder factor model that was further explored for the experience of B&Bs. Consider Figure 1 again, which reflects Pine and Gilmores (1999; Gilmore and Pine 2002a, 2002b) proposition of a sweet spot that an optimal experience emanates from a commingling of the four dimensions. That is, the four experience dimensions may share variance not only at the level of readily observable product and service attributes but also toward rather abstract, intrinsic consumption-related judgments. This latter shared variance at a higher order may give rise to the summary evaluative construct (sweet spot) of the B&B experience. Thus, the residual variance of the four dimensions could be modeled into a higher, second-order construct in line with the sweet spot concept of the B&B experience (see Pine and Gilmore 1999). To explore this possibility, the first-order B&B experience model was respecified into a second-order factor model in which the four experience dimensions loaded on the same second-order factor. This second-order factor

model resulted in an unacceptable fit ( 2 664.4, d.f. 285, CFI .92, RMSEA .08). A careful examination of model fit diagnostics, the residual matrix, and modification indices suggested that the model fit could be significantly improved if the esthetic dimension was modeled as the first-order factor only (Bagozzi and Yi 1988; Byrne 1998). In the interest of exploring a potentially better fitting model, therefore, the model was respecified accordingly, and this alternative second-order factor model resulted in a fit equivalent to the first-order model ( 2 478.0, d.f. 281, CFI .96, RMSEA .054) (see Table 4, right side). Note, however, that although this partial second-order factor model produced a slightly better fit based on the Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) for comparing nonnested models (Akaike 1987), its model structure should be viewed only as a case-specific exploration result due to the lack of a priori supporting conceptualization.

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS


Results of the present study indicate that Pine and Gilmores (1999; Gilmore and Pine 2002a, 2002b) four realms of experience offer not only conceptual fit but also a practical measurement framework for the study of tourist experiences. To provide a practical tool for destination lodging marketers to implement concepts of the experience economy, this study attempted to construct a measurement scale for the four realms of experience based on the B&B experience. The data suggest evidence that the experience dimensions do have structural consistencies as proposed. It should be noted, however, that the relationships of the individual experience dimensions with plausible consequences of tourist experiences, such as satisfaction, arousal, memory, and overall quality, may be difficult to predict because they may depend heavily on the salience of experience offerings of the target destination. In the case of the B&B experiences investigated in this study, the esthetic dimension appeared to be a dominant determinant of the experiential outcomes. In contrast to expectations from tourism literature, the escapist and entertainment dimensions were not statistically significant contributors to guest satisfaction, arousal, memory, and overall quality. Perhaps these results could reflect a B&B-specific contingency in the sample state examined in this study.

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128 TABLE 4 ESTIMATION RESULTS FOR NOMOLOGICAL VALIDITY OF THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY Second-Order Experience Economy Factor Model t ratio Esthetics .56 .95 .72 .71 Nomological relationship Parameter estimate Standardized estimate .55 .85 .86 .89 t ratio 9.03 13.98 14.53 13.80 Parameter estimate Standardized estimate Arousal Memory Overall quality Satisfaction Second-order factor Education* Entertainment* Escapism* Arousal Memory Overall quality Satisfaction 1.41 1.28 1.17 .37 .01 .03 .05 .85 .86 .84 .40 .00 .03 .06 14.34 12.65 10.52 6.66 .01 .61 1.06 .13 .05 .03 .01 .59 .94 .72 .71 .10 .01 .01 .02 .01 .05 .02 .07 .70 1.78 1.61 .49 .50 1.56 .16 .06 .04 .07 .06 .06
2

First-Order Experience Economy Factor Model

Nomological relationship

Education

Esthetics

Entertainment

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Escapism

Arousal Memory Overall quality Satisfaction Arousal Memory Overall quality Satisfaction Arousal Memory Overall quality Satisfaction Arousal Memory Overall quality Satisfaction .47 .73 .70 .37 .40 .76 .17 .08 .07 .09 .08 .10 .054; AIC 622.43 6.01 8.13 7.34 4.80 4.77 7.33 4.94 2.52 1.96 2.87 2.49 3.08

.23 .08 .06 .01 .57 .84 .86 .89 .16 .01 .01 .05 .01 .06 .03 .13

2.95 1.03 .81 .13 9.50 14.11 14.76 13.95 1.79 .16 .06 .54 .13 .75 .35 1.37

Covariance: Arousal Memory Arousal Overall quality Arousal Satisfaction Memory Overall quality Memory Satisfaction Overall quality Satisfaction

.16 .05 .05 .07 .06 .06

.17 .08 .07 .09 .09 .10

5.02 2.49 2.15 2.81 2.57 3.02

Covariance: Education Esthetics Education Entertainment Education Escapism Esthetics Entertainment Esthetics Escapism Entertainment Escapism Arousal Memory Arousal Overall quality Arousal Satisfaction Memory Overall quality Memory Satisfaction Overall quality Satisfaction 2 (271) 462.4, p .01 CFI .96; NNFI
.96; RMSEA

(281)

478.0, p .01 CFI .96; NNFI

.96; RMSEA

.054; AIC

618.03

*Second-order factor loadings; the esthetic dimension was separately modeled, based on model diagnostics for fit improvement (see the text).

JOURNAL OF TRAVEL RESEARCH 129

The esthetic dimension of the B&B experience accounted for the most variance in the model predicting the tourists arousal, memory, overall quality, and satisfaction. It seems plausible that the esthetic experience is a focal marketing strategy of the B&B industry in the sample state, linking guests needs and operators investment. Our additional analyses into the B&B operators investment-need data supported such an inference and our findings in this regard. These findings again suggest that the relative importance of the four experience dimensions should be understood rather flexibly in light of the marketing focus implemented by the targeted company or destination. Such a line of thought is also consistent with the destinationspecific understanding of tourist motivations and research approaches as prescribed by Prentice (2004). Although the empirical viability of Pine and Gilmores higher order sweet spot construct was explored, it is argued that the measurement model be retained at the level of firstorder constructs (see Table 4, left side) for several reasons. First, modeling the sweet spot concept at a higher order, with all four first-order experience dimensions, did not fit the data well. This indicated that the four experience dimensions might not share variance to a sufficient degree and it was particularly so in the case of the esthetic dimension. Second, the post hoc partial second-order factor model (see Table 4, right side) showed immaterial improvement in fit over the first-order factor model. Instead, the first-order factor model was consistent with Pine and Gilmores a priori conceptualization on the four dimensions and it is much easier to interpret and understand, especially in field applications. Furthermore, the equivalent fit of the modified second-order factor model relied, to a certain degree, on chance in that the model was respecified only post hoc following the suggestions of LISREL-produced modification indices. From a management standpoint, the first-order model is likely to give destination managers much more useful diagnostic information for future marketing efforts, as each dimension of the model points to clear directions for managerial attention and marketing actions. The results of our study could provide both theoretical and practical implications. The experience economy concept has been introduced to the tourism literature only at an introductory conceptual level. The measurement scales we offer can serve as a platform for upcoming research applications to various tourism settings. It is generally desirable that a concept is refined along with commensurate sophistication of its corresponding measurement scales. Measurement scales of a concept can also serve as an important tool to empirically test the viability of the concept and its relationships with other meaningful variables, thereby contributing to knowledge generation and theoretical progress of the concept. Destination marketers could use the measurement scales in their actual operations to understand customer evaluations of their offerings. Our scales, using wording that is generalizable to various destination settings, require minimal changes to reflect destination-specific offerings and situations. Once the same scales are used repeatedly to measure the tourist experience with various destinations, the results can be easily compared for benchmarking. Such practical applications will help destination marketers improve their offerings and serve visitors needs better.

DIRECTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH


The proposed measurement model of the four realms of experience awaits further validations across different consumption situations and staged experiences. Although the model demonstrated strong internal validity as a result of repeatedly refining the measurement items both qualitatively and quantitatively, it may have limited generalizability. This study was based on only one industry in one state in the United States; for these and other limitations, the sampling frame for this study might have been narrow for the purpose of developing a generalizable measurement scale. The measurement items are, however, general enough for applications to other experience situations, and the dimensional structure found in this study is likely to be stable across different subjects and settings. It should be noted, though, as discussed earlier, the relationships between the four experience dimensions and their consequences seem to require a contingency approach. It may be interesting to see whether data from rich experiential consumptions that are particularly well balanced among the appeals of the four dimensions will prove equally significant, constructive roles of the four experience dimensions in determining various consumption outcomes. The consequences of the experience economy that were included in this study may be further ordered for their causal sequences, though this study included them for the purpose of mainly testing nomological validity of the experience dimensions. In doing so, strong theoretical reasoning and logical inferences must proceed to model specifications and data analyses. Such extended efforts will contribute to the theoretical development of the experience economy concept, which is necessary for the framework to evolve into a strong research tradition. A review of the tourist experience literature and other related sources could not uncover direct theoretical links that could aid in ordering the examined consequences. Only a few distantly related theoretical sources were found to support potential causal relationships, such as from arousal to memory (Dolcos and Cabeza 2002; Sanbonmatsu and Kardes 1988) and from arousal to attitudes (e.g., satisfaction) (Bagozzi 1996; Eroglu, Machleit, and Davis 2003; Oliver, Rust, and Varki 1997). The relationship of arousal with perceived overall quality and customer satisfaction remains unsubstantiated in either the relevant tourism literature or this study. Research on this outcome structure of the experience realms and other consequences warrants valuable contributions to the tourism literature. Because the focus of the present research was on developing a measurement scale for the four realms of experience, this study did not explicitly consider antecedents of the experience dimensions in the investigation. As discussed earlier, evidence on the link between tourists experiential perceptions (i.e., the experience dimensions) and individual value systems is fragmentary as tourist activities are often viewed as infrequent out of the individuals daily life. Such infrequent occurrences may cause inconsistency in the personenvironment interaction. While challenging, clearly structuring the antecedents of experience will contribute to effective management of destinations because it will allow destination marketers to understand what variables influence tourists perceptions of the destination.

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130 NOVEMBER 2007

In the long run, each dimension of experience may be further elaborated into meaningful subdimensions. The first candidate for this line of research would be the escapist dimension because it has been a key tourist motivation that has been repeatedly investigated in tourism research but somewhat poorly understood for its meaning. Future studies may develop richer measurement items to tap, as discussed earlier, both the tourists passive getaway component of an escape travel and the tourists active partaking of a different identity while participating in destination activities. The rationale is that these two components of escape travel are known to typically lead to the effects of escapism (Pine and Gilmore 1999). Both the education and entertainment dimensions may be related, for instance, to special events or programs at the destination as well as the general theme of the destination. Similarly, the esthetic experience may play different roles in tourists decision making, depending on whether it is central (primary) or peripheral (secondary) to the destinations image and marketing focus. This line of research is of great importance to destination marketers. Another interesting avenue for future research would be to clarify how the four experience dimensions are linked to tourists experience outcomes that have been conceptualized in the tourism literature. One may examine how the four dimensions reconcile with the various motivations or outcomes of the tourist experience reported by Driver and colleagues (e.g., Manfredo, Driver, and Tarrant 1996). Perhaps the four experience dimensions should be viewed as a subset of those outcomes. The first questions to ask then would be whether (a) the four dimensions are representative across a variety of destination-specific tourist experiences, (b) the four dimensions are actively searched by tourists during the destination selection process, or (c) various tourist experiences can be reduced to the four dimensions. One may also explore how immersion constituting the deep esthetic and/or escapist experience relates to the immersion involved in the state of flow (Csikszentmihalyi 1997; Havitz and Mannell 2005). Conceptually, achievement of an esthetic or escapist experience should be related to, or lead to, a state of flow. A causal inference like this necessitates further rigorous conceptualizations of the four realms and flow in the leisure and tourism literature. Finally, additional conceptual clarification needs to be done regarding the relationship of experience economy concepts to general consumption evaluations. The evaluative characteristics of our experience scales are quite similar to other existing models, such as service quality (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry 1988) and customer satisfaction (Oliver 1997). However, the focus on memorable experiences may offer a distinct advantage of the experience economy concepts over other models. Can Pine and Gilmores (1999) four dimensions of experience be viewed as special cases of destination performance or are they inclusive enough to capture all-important aspects of destination performance? How can we integrate the four experience measurement scales with other performance evaluation models? How can an experience economy model be developed further to produce clear strategies for destination marketers? These challenging questions call for additional research.

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APPENDIX
B&B OPERATORS INVESTMENT OR RESOURCE ALLOCATION PRIORITIES Experience Dimension Educational Investment Priority Questions You designed the B&B to include a learning experience for the guest. Your B&B experience is designed to help the guest learn something new. You try to create an educational experience for your guests. You believe your guests enhanced their skills from what you offered. Many of your guests come back to your property because they can learn . something new You emphasize learning opportunities for your guests as a theme of your B&B business. You designed your B&B setting to provide a great deal of pleasure to the guests senses. You focused on making your B&B really beautiful for the guest. Making your B&B attractive to your guests is a main theme of the property. You placed special attention on the design details of your B&B setting.
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Mean 3.78 3.72 3.55 3.04 2.95 2.93 6.20 6.14 5.96 5.81

Standard Deviation 2.02 2.11 2.19 1.93 1.94 2.06 1.17 1.27 1.44 1.54 (Continued)

Esthetic

132 NOVEMBER 2007 APPENDIX (Continued) Escapist You want your guests to completely forget their daily routine while staying at your property. You strive to make your B&B experience a complete escape for your guests. Your B&B experience allows your guests to really feel as if they are completely immersed in a different time and place. You want your guests to actively engage in different reality through the setting you created. Your B&B allows your guests to actively participate in exciting activities. Your B&B experience is designed to allow your guests to sit back and be entertained. You try to create an entertaining experience for your guests stay. Because of entertainment opportunities at your B&B, many of your guests choose to stay at your B&B. You designed the activities of the B&B to be fun for your guests to watch. You try to provide special events to entertain your guests. 5.92 5.76 5.47 4.37 3.87 3.90 3.46 3.10 3.01 2.52 1.38 1.15 1.66 2.08 2.14 2.09 2.10 2.11 1.94 1.85

Entertainment

B&B OPERATORS NEEDS FOR FURTHER IMPROVEMENT

Specific Aspects Where Assistance is Needed


Enhancement Enhancement Enhancement Enhancement Enhancement Enhancement Enhancement Enhancement Enhancement in in in in in in in in in the landscape design (for example, gardens, walkways, plantings). your marketing/advertising efforts. the overall experience of your B&B. the meals/food offerings. your business operations and management. the interior design (for example, furniture, wall coverings, bedding). the interior architecture (for example, walls, fire places, doors). the external architecture. the training of the staff.

Mean
5.47 5.37 4.93 4.52 4.26 4.07 3.71 3.66 2.80

Standard Deviation
1.86 1.96 1.98 2.15 2.16 2.22 2.18 2.30 2.20

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