|dc.description.abstract||Value and value co-creation have received increasing interest among service, marketing and tourism researchers in recent years. The Marketing Science Institute (MSI) has identified “delivering customer value” as a key priority research topic in its latest 2020-2022 research priorities. Understanding the tourist experience value co-creation process has strategic importance for destination managers. Previous studies in tourism have investigated value from an economic perspective and focused the impact of experience quality on value; less attention has been devoted to the study of tourist experience value from a multi-dimensional and co-creation perspective.
This research aims to examine how experience value is perceived and co-created by tourists at a heritage destination. This research draws upon the service-dominant logic paradigm to investigate the dimensions, antecedents, and consequences of experience value from the tourists’ perspective in Huangshan, China. Specifically, this thesis explores how to measure tourist experience value at the destination level, the role tourists and destination play in the value co-creation process, and how tourist experience value leads to subsequent outcomes on tourist evaluations.
This study applies a sequential mixed-methods approach consisting of two stages: qualitative and quantitative. The first stage of the study employs interviews with 50 tourists who have just completed a trip to the heritage destination, Huangshan. The qualitative phase is used to derive insights regarding the nature and dimensions of tourist experience value and also tourist co-production behaviour at a tourist destination. The second stage involves two stages of questionnaire data collection. A pilot study (N=183) and then the main survey (N=958), conducted to test the proposed model using structural equation modelling and mediation analyses.
This research provides several important findings. First, this research indicates that tourist experience value is a multi-dimensional construct with seven dimensions, namely aesthetic value, positive emotional value, restoration value, social relationship value, educational value, spiritual value, and economic value. Second, both tourist involvement and perceived competence significantly and positively influence tourist experience value. Additionally, destination quality also has a significant impact on tourist experience value. Third, tourist co-production is a multi-dimensional construct involving physical interaction and social interaction, which has a direct and positive effect on tourist experience value. Furthermore, tourist co-production has an important mediation effect in the value co-creation process. Fourth, tourist experience value has a positive and significant influence on tourist wellbeing and destination identity. In conclusion, from a service-dominant logic (S-D logic) perspective, tourist-owned resources, destination-owned resources, and tourist co-production play important roles in the tourist experience value co-creation process in the heritage destination.
The findings of this research make significant contributions to the body of knowledge about tourist experience, value co-creation, S-D logic, and heritage tourism. This research has developed a multidimensional scale of tourist experience value at the destination level, especially in a heritage destination context. In particular, this research extends the experience value literature by explicitly adding aesthetic, restorative, and spiritual value dimensions to the measurement scale. This research also extends the traditional “quality-value-satisfaction” model by adding tourist owned resources and tourist co-production into the model, providing a more holistic and theoretically founded framework to better understand the tourist experience value co-creation process. The research not only enriches the knowledge of heritage experience research, but also lends empirical support to the proposition that customers are important co-creators of value in the S-D logic.
Practically, this research can help heritage destination marketing organizations and the tourism industry to acquire an in-depth understanding of the tourist experience value co-creation process. More specifically, the measurement scale of tourist experience value identified in this study can be used as a benchmark to better meet the needs of tourists. In addition, this research provides destination managers with knowledge in terms of the factors that influence tourist experience value. Heritage destination managers should be aware of the important role of tourists in co-creating value, including their involvement, perceived competence, and also co-production behaviours during the trip. The heritage destination should shift the value creation perspectives from creating value for tourists to creating value with tourists. In summary, this research helps destination managers to better design destination marketing and management strategies to improve competitiveness.||