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Broadening the Servicescape and Experiencescape Concepts: Evidence from Popular Culture Destinations

Conference contribution
Authors Kristina Lindström
Christine Lundberg
Published in The 23rd Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research, Copenhagen Oct 2-3 2014
Publication year 2014
Published at Centre for Tourism
Language en
Keywords Tourism, media-driven tourism, servicescape, experiencescape
Subject categories Human Geography


The servicescape is a central concept within the service marketing literature based on rationally worked out presentations of an environment. It is vital in creating the service experience, and communicates powerful messages to the consumer about the expected quality of the experience (e.g. Arnould, Price & Tierney, 1998; Aubert-Gamet, 1997; Babin & Dardin, 1996; Baker, 1987; Baker, Grewal & Levt, 1992; Bitner, 1990; 1992; Booms & Bitner, 1982; Donovan & Rossiter, 1982; Mehrabian & Russell, 1974; Tilly, 1994). Yet, the branding and marketing of places hides the different value constructions behind such commercial activities. Furthermore, much of the servicescape research has been very conceptual, focusing on only one of the physical elements of the physical environment (Countryman and Jang, 2006). One of the objectives of this research is to attempt to fill that gap by categorising all aspects of the servicescape based on data from popular culture destinations and an elaborated model of analysis for servicescape elements. More specifically, the aim of the paper is to elaborate the notion of servicescapes towards a more holistic understanding and application of the concept. The fact that the tourism experience involves complex interactions with the physical and cultural landscapes of the tourist destination, leading to complex positive and negative impacts in the local communities, evidently looping back affecting the consumer experience, implies an extension of the concept of servicescape. In this more complex context of tourism consumption, Mossberg (2007) has suggested that the servicescape concept should be substituted with the broader experiencescape concepts to better reflect that in tourism, the service product is not limited to one company and service environment but rather a combination of service providers at a destination or experience environment. We argue that the spatial dimensions of the concept need to be even further developed to incorporate the geographies of tourism. The primary data included in the study further supports this claim. A total of 278 photos and 20 video clips captured at four popular culture tourism destinations were included in the sample. The four destinations, all related to the popular culture phenomenon the Twilight Saga, are located in USA (Forks, La Push and Port Angeles), British Columbia, Canada, and Italy (Volterra and Montepulciano). NVivo9 was employed for the analysis of data in two stages. The first stage was to analyse secondary data (literature) to develop a model for analysis of primary data (stage two). The analysis approach can be described as an a priori analysis based on a model generated from previous research within servicescape and experiencescape. However, the research design also included a post hoc analysis allowing for new nodes/(sub)categories to be developed, when applicable, from empirical data. Findings show that evidence from the popular culture tourism destinations supports previous research as regards elements of the servicescape and experiencescape concepts. In addition to this, two new empirically generated subcategories were developed clearly related to the geographies of tourism. Alas, support for a more holistic approach to the servicescape and experiencescape concepts was found.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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