Exploring the essence of memorable tourism experiences

Vincent Wing Sun Tung, J. R.Brent Ritchie

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

616 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of the tourism experience has become a focal point for current tourism research and management. While academic studies are increasingly examining tourism as a function of memorable experiences (ME), more research most be done to uncover the essence of what exactly makes certain experiences special, spectacular, and fittingly, memorable. This study sought to explore the essence of MEs based on research from the field of psychology, with a view to understanding the cognitive processes that impede individuals from paying attention to their experiences, as well as the conceptual processes of memory formation and retention. In-depth interviews revealed four key dimensions of MEs: affect, expectations, consequentiality and recollection. Finally, we propose several avenues for future research on MEs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1367-1386
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Grounded theory
  • Memorable experience
  • Memory
  • Psychology
  • Tourism experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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