Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 70097
Enhance Customer Experience through Sustainable Development: The Case of a Natural Park

Authors: Lubica Hikkerova, Jean-Michel Sahut

Abstract:

This article aims to better understand how a natural park, with a touristic vocation, can benefit from its sustainable development approach to enhance the customer experience. For this aim, we analyze, on the one hand, the interactions between the different stakeholders in this sustainable tourism offer, their ways of cooperating to build this offer and, on the other hand, the perceptions of customers. To serve this purpose, two complementary qualitative methodologies have been conducted. As part of a systemic approach, a first study, through group discussions, was conducted with three categories of participants: (I) customers, (II) representatives of the park, communities, tourism offices and associations and 3-service providers in the park. For the second study, semi-directive interviews were realized with park managers and customers. Two levels of contributions have been found. First, we have demonstrated the value of a systemic approach to understanding sustainable tourism. Then, we developed, in the empirical part, a model of causal loops that allowed us to identify the various factors of the offer that decided potential tourists to visit the park and their impact on customer experience. The complementarity of this approach with semi-directive interviews with all the stakeholders enabled us to issue recommendations to improve the customer experience.

Keywords: sustainable tourism, systematic approach, price, park

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