This article examines push and pull motivations of hunting tourists – those hunters who travel outside their usual hunting area – as well as push motivations differences between regular hunters and hunting tourists. An online survey was used to collect 557 responses from Finnish hunters. Principal component analysis was used to distinguish underlying motivational structures and help understand push and pull motivations. The resulting push motivations components were Competence-mastery, Nature, Family, Hunting, Relaxation, Social, and Added benefits. Pull motivation components were Tourism services, Destination novelty, Costs, Meal preparing possibilities, Game, Destination suitability for hunting, and Hunting grounds. Furthermore, a regression analysis was used to examine how push and pull motivation components explain hunting tourists’ travel behaviour. Competence-mastery, Family, and Relaxation motivated the Finnish hunting tourists to visit destinations where they could learn about culture and animals. Tourism service providers should note that a hunting tourism trip should include educational elements.
Suni, J. & Pesonen, J. (2017) Hunters as tourists - an exploratory study of push-pull motivations. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism. pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2017.1407668
This article draws on two theories—uses and gratification and the James–Lange theory of emotion—to investigate gender differences in Instagram hashtag use. The study content analyzes 1,382 Instagram posts with the hashtag #Malaysianfood and categorizes them as informative/emotional and positive/negative. The results show that compared to male users, female users tend to use emotional and positive hashtag descriptions. This study also finds a positive relationship between the number of hashtags used and both the number of followers and likes. Finally, the results suggest a high satisfaction with Malaysian foods based on the number of positive and negative hashtags. Academically, this study adds to the limited Instagram and hashtag literature, expands the online gender behavior literature to hashtags, and introduces hashtag sentiment to measure user satisfaction. Companies should consider gender preferences in Instagram, and other social media, hashtag use to attract and keep target customers.
Ye, Z., Hashim, N. H., Baghirov, F., Murphy, J. (2017) Gender Differences in Instagram Hashtag Use. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management. https://doi.org/10.1080/19368623.2018.1382415
This article examines the relationships between leisure activity seriousness and travel intention. The concept of seriousness, introduced by Lee and Scott (2013), combines constructs from serious leisure and recreation specialization, such as behavioral commitment, personal commitment, perseverance, career progress, effort and identity. The study uses this framework to investigate relationships of these seriousness constructs with travel intention for hunting tourism, focusing on Finnish hunters. Data collected via a web survey consists of 1662 respondents. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used as analysis methods. The results indicate three seriousness related constructs personal commitment, career progress, and effort have a positive effect on willingness to travel. Finnish hunters who consider hunting as an important leisure activity, want to increase their hunting knowledge and develop their hunting skills, are more likely to travel abroad to participate in hunting. Managerial implications: For the service provider, it is of utmost importance to have an in-depth understanding about each customer group and their expectations, to be able to provide them with the best possible prerequisites for a hunting experience. Not all hunting tourists are similar. Managerial implications based on this study indicate that Finnish hunters interested in travelling abroad for hunting, consider themselves personally committed to hunting and are looking to improve their skills and progress in their hunting career. To create a satisfying hunting tourism offering for such hunting tourists, the service provider should offer a possibility for hunters to challenge their skills and to experience something new, which can progress their hunting career.
Suni, J. (2017) Willingness to travel as an extension of leisure activity seriousness - A study about Finnish hunters. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. pp. 77-83.
The tourism industry is currently dealing with the impacts of collaborative consumption, with tourists increasingly using peer-to-peer (P2P) services such as Airbnb and Uber. This study aims to extend our knowledge of why P2P accommodation services are not just succeeding, but thriving, from the consumer perspective, and it contributes to an understanding of the reasons for the popularity of P2P accommodation services and how consumer heterogeneity affects consumer choices. In this study, the drivers of P2P accommodation services are examined in order to better understand consumer characteristics and behaviour. Based on a survey of Internet users in Finland, the major drivers affecting the use of P2P accommodation services are the age of consumers, active use of the Internet and online technologies, and the frequency of international travel. Cluster analysis identified two user profiles corresponding to consumer motivations for using P2P accommodation services. The first consumer group uses P2P accommodation services to make their trips more convenient, while the second uses them mostly for social reasons.
Pesonen, J. & Tussyadiah, I. (2017) Peer-To-Peer Accommodation: Drivers and User Profiles. Collaborative Economy and Tourism: Perspectives, Politics, Policies and Prospects. pp. 285-303.
Developing the know-how and capabilities of tourism students in the field of online business and eTourism is crucial to increase use of information and communication technologies in the industry. This paper presents a novel system for organizing eTourism education in higher education institutes such as universities and universities of applied sciences. This system is based on course exchange between institutions and provides altogether 35 ECTS credits of annual studies in eTourism in English. This paper provides an overview of how the system came to be and how it is organized in practice. The results of this paper are useful for universities interested in developing eTourism education and demonstrates how universities can
work together with low investments to create something that none of them could do alone. It elaborates the new possibilities information and communication technologies provide for universities for co-operation and more efficient curriculum.
Pesonen, J., Kähkönen, O., Hanni-Vaara, P., Viitasaari, M., Kupiainen, T., Kostov, A, & Heinonen, J. (2017) An Innovative Virtual Method for Providing eTourism Education in a University Network: eTourism Curriculum Finland. e-Review of Tourism Research, pp. 1-5.
Komppula, R., Konu, H. & Vikman, N. (2017) Listening to the sounds of silence: Forest Based Wellbeing Tourism in Finland. Chapter 11 in Joseph S. Chen and Nina K. Prebensen (Eds.): Nature Tourism. Routledge. pp. 120-130.
Komppula, R. & Konu, H. (2017) Designing Forest-Based Wellbeing Tourism Services For Japanese Customers – A Case Study From Finland. In: Prebensen Nina K, Chen Joseph S, Uysal Muzaffer S (Eds.) Co-Creation in Tourist Experiences. Contemporary Geographies of Leisure, Tourism and Mobility. Routledge.
The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the different meanings and components that different people respectively hold and associate with well-being tourism. The chapter is informed by a study that aimed to find out what kind of interpretations customers of a hotel chain formed about a 'Feelgood in Lapland' experience. Three different representations of Finnish Lapland were distinguished: as a place for escape, as a place for romance, and as a place for activities.
Komppula, R. (2017) Tourists’ Interpretations of a ”Feelgood in Lapland” Holiday – A Case Study. Chapter 11 in Young-Sook Lee, David B. Weaver and Nina K. Prebensen (eds.): Arctic Tourism Experiences. Production, Consumption and Sustainability. Cabi. pp. 100-108. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781780648620.0100
Literature has demonstrated the central role of stakeholders and collaboration in destination branding. However, empirical studies on stakeholder interactions and their dynamics in destination and place branding are still rare. The objective of this study is to examine how different kinds of factors and internal stakeholders’ actions contribute to destination brand identity development. Drawing from social identity and place branding theories, and empirical research from a ski destination, we identify five factors and four actions contributing to the destination brand identity development process. Our findings indicate that a strong informal stakeholder group can take the leadership in brand development and that the role of the destination marketing organisation might be overemphasised in the literature on destination marketing and management.
Saraniemi S. & Komppula, R. (2017) The development of a destination brand identity: a story of stakeholder collaboration. Current Issues in Tourism. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2017.1369496
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