Improving customer experience in tourism: A framework for stakeholder collaboration
Tourism represents a service industry replete with unique complexities since a tourist's overall experience is modulated by multiple stakeholders, e.g., immigration officials at airports, policy makers responsible for investment in transportation infrastructure and managers at various tourist attractions. Effective management of customer satisfaction in this service sector entails cross-functional collaboration and a transparent measurement scheme that clearly delineates the impact of each stakeholder's actions on overall customer experience. In this paper, we propose a simple conceptual framework for stakeholder collaboration in tourism. A four-phase customer experience measurement process is developed to prioritize resource allocation and to increase tourists' advocacy levels for a destination. The proposed measurement framework has wide applicability and can also be exercised in the context of other public sector services, e.g., mass transit systems. We illustrate the process using an empirical case study at Chennai, a tourist destination in India and provide a number of substantive insights that are valid for this destination.
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