• Eugenio Conti
  • Ioanna Pechlivanidou
4. semester, Turisme, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Given the increasing attention put on the experience economy and the market of experiences, on one hand, and on cultural routes as an emerging, alternative form of tourism, on the other, in this master thesis researchers set out to explore the use that a cultural route makes of experiences to market and differentiate itself, and what related challenges and issues can be identified. As the researchers were particularly interested in generating in-depth data, a single case study was chosen, with the case being one of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, the Routes of the Olive Tree. Theoretical propositions were developed in order to guide the analysis, in advance, on the basis of some of the most discussed concepts in experiential marketing for tourism, such as experiential realms, theming, representation and conveyance of the experience, staging of the experience and experiential marketing tools. Primary data was collected on the field from four different sources of data: participant observation, interviews, texts and netnography. Data from these different sources was consequently triangulated in order to generate multifaceted findings, which could help the researchers in their aim of gaining an in-depth understanding of the case. Although this research does not aim at generalizing the findings on other cultural routes, it is argued that it can provide useful, exhaustive context-based knowledge in what remains, today, an underdeveloped area of
research. Findings indicate that, although the Routes of the Olive Tree develops, indeed, a route experience that is used to differentiate itself, many issues and challenges arise that need to be considered: particularly, the cultural route’s lack of direct control of the environment in which it is situated, a lack of funding and finally a lack of expertise can undermine the capacity for the cultural route to market and differentiate itself through experiences. In addition, peculiarities of the management of the route, such as its non-profit nature, need to be better considered and acknowledged in the literature, as these usually affect, in a similar vein, the capacity of the cultural route to market experiences and differentiate itself.
ID: 237922475