The Tourism Product Is a Complex Human Experience

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“The tourism product is a complex human experience” (Middleton). Discuss and give specific examples.

Tourism is an activity that individuals enjoy and they are motivated by a wide range of desires. The tourism phenomenon is challenging to understand and businesses must carefully evaluate the tourist’s perceptions of what constitutes a tourism product. This has to be done in order to understand individual behavior, the psychology of tourists and potential tourists and identify their wants and needs, which need to be satisfied.

When we speak of the tourism product, we are dealing with tangible components, such as brochures, travel magazines and maps, and also with intangible components, because this human experience cannot be touched or seen but it is something felt and associated with emotions and reactions. Some of the intangibles which are fundamental determinants of tourism demand include the yearning for holidays, the propensity of spending of the consumers and the changing popularity of holiday styles, which is most often influenced by current travel trends. Taking into consideration these intangibles, the management process of every tourism related business has to identify, anticipate and supply for the customer’s needs and wants efficiently and profitably. For a business to gain a ‘competitive advantage’ over others it needs to fully understand the desires of the tourists, what are they looking for in a tourism product and what they want to experience. For instance, if a couple is looking for ‘romance’, does this entail a secluded bungalow on a tropical beach with palm trees or a luxurious ski lodge with a fireplace in private rooms? Therefore is a hotel’s potential for romance best advertised through images of a couple enjoying each other’s company, or perhaps though images of intimate décor and discrete service? The specifications that create a feeling of ‘romance’ or any other desired experience by travelers, is of great relevance to tourism...
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