The aim of this study is to investigate the factors that affect the formation of the social holiday experience, and the role of specially arranged activities in that experience. It draws on the specific case of Finland. An intrinsic, intensive case study research strategy is applied and an ethnographic approach is taken using observation, semi-structured interviews, and questionnaires. The findings indicate that the social holiday experience is clearly linked to everything which took place during the holiday. This supports earlier research on service experiences. Six categories of factors contribute to the social tourism experience: interaction, physical environment, content of the activities, food and mealtime conditions, situational factors and personal factors. Social holiday clients do not expect the holiday to be anything extraordinary.
The aim of this study is to examine the ability of a company to utilize customer involvement, benefits derived from it, and the challenges faced in the process of involving customers to participate in new service development (NSD) in different stages of the NSD process by adopting a case study approach. The findings show that a company gained several benefits by involving customers. The company also had the willingness to involve customers in NSD but diverse challenges and other operational development projects affected the realization. The study shows several practical implications that are related to customer involvement in diverse phases of NSD, bringing concrete benefits for a company. Nevertheless, cooperation with external research organizations is almost indispensable for small enterprises.
Konu, H. & Komppula, R. (2016), Customer involvement in a new service development process: the case of "Feelgood in Lapland", Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research [epub ahead of print 16 Feb 2016] http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13032917.2016.1144625
This study aims to examine the usability and usefulness of ethnographic approaches in new service development (NSD) in tourism. This paper discusses and describes what kind of information is gained through the process. The paper includes a case study which uses an ethnographic approach in one phase of the NSD process. The data was collected during a tourism product test phase on-site by participant observation, conducting surveys and holding group interviews. The results show that an ethnographic approach brings highly versatile and detailed information that benefits different phases of NSD and the development of the service concept, service process and service system. Some challenges were identified during the data collection, mainly related to participant observation. This study contributes to tourism management literature by providing an empirical example of how consumers are involved in NSD in the tourism industry and how an ethnographic approach can be utilised in NSD.
The aim of this study is to assess the suitability and opportunities for utilising the Delphi method in the tourism sector by examining the applicability of the method in data collection and customer involvement for different purposes in new service development (NSD). This is done by introducing an NSD case aiming to find and evaluate ideas for nature tourism products. Data was collected by using two Delphi rounds and the suitability of the method was evaluated for selected criteria and describing the type of information that was gained during the process. The results show that the Delphi method suites customer involvement in the front-end stages of NSD well and the data collected provides rich information especially for service concept and service system development.
Konu, H. (2015), Developing nature-based tourism products with customers by utilising the Delphi method, Tourism Management Perspectives, 14, 42-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tmp.2015.03.003
This study aims to compare activity-based segmentation and travel motivation segmentation from the perspective of information search behavior and online use behavior by comparing segment heterogeneity. The data were collected from users of three Finnish rural tourism websites with 1754 completed and usable questionnaires to create segmentation solutions based on travel activities and motivations using hierarchical cluster analysis and then comparing the results. The results indicate that travel activities are more useful than travel motivations in finding heterogeneous segmentation solutions, making the travel activity segments more heterogeneous than travel motivation segments as regards their information search behavior and Internet use. The results suggest that in this era of Internet marketing, travel activities are a better segmentation base than travel motivations in order to target different market segments as activities form more heterogeneous segmentation solutions.
Pesonen, J. (2015), Targeting Rural Tourists in the Internet: Comparing Travel Motivation and Activity-Based Segments, Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 32(3), 211-226. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10548408.2014.895695
As a result of the phenomenal growth of the sharing economy in the travel industry, investigating its potential impacts on travelers and tourism destinations is of paramount importance. The goal of this study was to identify how the use of peer-to-peer accommodation leads to changes in travelers’ behavior. Based on two online surveys targeting travelers from the United States and Finland, it was identified that the social and economic appeals of peer-to-peer accommodation significantly affect expansion in destination selection, increase in travel frequency, length of stay, and range of activities participated in tourism destinations. Travelers’ desires for more meaningful social interactions with locals and unique experiences in authentic settings drive them to travel more often, stay longer, and participate in more activities. Also, the reduction in accommodation cost allows travelers to consider and select destinations, trips, and tourism activities that are otherwise cost-prohibitive. Implications for tourism planning and management are provided.
Tussyadiah, I.P. & Pesonen J. (2015), Impacts of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Use on Travel Patterns, Journal of Travel Research, [epub ahead of print 12 Oct 2015] http://dx.doi.org/
The aim of this case study is to increase our understanding of the role of entrepreneurs in enhancing the competitiveness of a rural tourism destination. A literature review of the research on destination competitiveness with a focus on the roles of different stakeholders is first presented, followed by a narrative about rural tourism development, the competitiveness of rural destinations and the role of entrepreneurs in establishing successful destinations. The data consists of six case studies and nine semi-structured interviews among tourism entrepreneurs and managers at a rural tourism destination in Finland. The findings challenge the prevailing DMO dominated approach to destination competitiveness development, and call for the acknowledgment of collaboration between small tourism enterprises in the enhancement of rural destinations. Municipalities have a crucial role as facilitators of the entrepreneurial environment, but without innovative, committed, and risk-taking entrepreneurs no destination will flourish.
Komppula, R. (2014), The role of individual entrepreneurs in the development of competitiveness for a rural tourism destination - a case study, Tourism Management, 40, 361-371. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2013.07.007
Tuohino, A. & Konu, H. (2014), Local stakeholders' views about destination management: Who are leading tourism development? Tourism Review, 69(3), 202-215. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/TR-06-2013-0033
The aim of this paper is to increase our understanding about the experienced value of hunting as a travel experience. Experienced value refers to the individual's multidimensional outcome of the hunting experience. The study consists of an auto-ethnography of one hunter and diary notes, photos and memories of the other. Holbrook's typology of consumer value has been used as the theoretical framework for analyzing the data. The findings suggest that first, numerous types of value may come into play during the course of one particular hunt, and second, that in tourism, “togetherness” should be included in the consumer value typology as a new dimension of intrinsic other-oriented. Active togetherness value refers to the person whose traveling would be motivated by the need to offer and share experiences for and with the loved ones and the reactive dimension is the reaction of those accepting this offer.
Komppula, R. & Gartner, W.C. (2013), Hunting as Travel Experience- an Auto-Ethnographic study of hunting tourism in Finland and USA, Tourism Management, 35(April), 168-180. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2012.06.014
Eastern Finland is an area that is rich in lakes, aquatic environments and pure nature. Unfortunately, this rich potential is scarcely utilized in well-being and wellness tourism product development. To answer this, the purpose of this article is to discuss if the experiential environment of the lakes and lake landscape can act as a potential resource for the core content of a ‘Lake Wellness’ experience product. This article introduces the well-being and wellness concepts in general, and further defines the Lake Wellness concept in a Finnish context. The main aim of the article is to present the product content and design of a new Lake Wellness experience.
Konu, H., Tuohino, A. & Komppula, R. (2010), Lake Wellness - a practical example of a new service development (NSD) concept in tourism industries, Journal of Vacation Marketing, 16(2), 125-139. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1356766709357489
Heikkilä, K., Komppula, R. & Pesonen, J. (2015), Pelillisyyden ja asiakkaan osallistamisen hyödyntäminen elämysmatkailualan palvelukehityksessä
Pesonen, J., Komppula, R. & Tuohino, A. (2011), Asiakkaan odottama arvo maaseutumatkailun segmentoinnin ja tuotekehityksen perustana, 1. vaihe