Quality Of Experience In Rural Tourism: Regional Case Studies In Austria And Germany
Free (open access)
V. Melzer & K. Meyer-Cech
The conducted research deals with factors of quality of tourism in relation to rural touristic initiatives, which conjointly market their tourism products. Several touristic initiatives were selected based on five criteria (e.g. a regional embeddedness and existence of a trademark) and their touristic offers were analysed. The study aimed to work out how these initiatives highlight their regional characteristics and which quality components contribute to a high quality of tourism experience. Based on the literature, four main components were identified that contribute to the quality of tourism, namely: hardware, environment/culture, software, and quality of experience. These components were combined with the seven instruments of quality of experience (e.g. the focus on a specific topic) by Müller and Scheurer (Tourismus-Destination als Erlebniswelt. Ein Leitfaden zur Angebots-Inszenierung, 2004) and tabulated. In the case study analysis, the quality requirements the touristic initiatives impose on their members, as well as existing offers, were gathered and assigned to the above-mentioned components of quality of tourism. The case study analysis revealed that all regional initiatives provide offers in all four main components. The initiatives also apply several aspects of the quality of experience, to highlight their regional characteristics. Several offers exist, in particular in the subcategories accommodation, culinary and regional products, events, information and internet presence as well as social media. In the field of quality of experience, the conveying of authenticity, the creation of atmosphere, and approaches of storytelling are used to generate attractions and to constitute positive guest experiences. This article provides first points of reference for an implementation of a universal guideline for regional touristic initiatives.
rural tourism, quality of tourism, quality of experience, Austria,Germany.