Tourism experience management research: Emergence, evolution and future directions

J. R. Brent Ritchie, Vincent Wing Sun Tung, Robin J.b. Ritchie

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The essence of tourism is the development and delivery of travel and visitation experiences. This paper aims to provide a quantitative and qualitative assessment of articles in major tourism journals in order to enhance our understanding of the tourism experience, with a special emphasis on the management issues associated with delivering these experiences to destination visitors. Design/methodology/approach – Several leading tourism journals were evaluated to identify the articles that focused on tourism experiences. Content analysis was used to determine the quantitative extent of the contributions and the qualitative nature of the articles published in each journal. Findings – Despite growth in the total number of articles published by each major journal, there was no substantial increase in experience-related papers. The findings suggest that, despite its fundamental importance, experience-related research remains under-represented in the tourism literature. Research limitations/implications – While this paper focused on the “leading” tourism journals as defined by various studies in the past, other journals and other publications that target a specific niche readership may also have worthwhile contributions to the understanding of tourism experiences and related management issues. Future research should seek to accommodate this in an effort to acknowledge a more comprehensive list of journals and books. Originality/value – This is the first formal study to date that comprehensively addresses the contributions of leading tourism journals to the literature on tourism experiences. Understanding the nature of tourism experiences is of significant value to scholars and practitioners, since providing tourists with high-quality, memorable experiences constitutes the essence of tourism and tourism management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-438
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Research
  • Serials
  • Tourism
  • Tourism development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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