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Creating joint experiences - Families engaging with a heritage site

Melvin, John; Winklhofer, Heidi; McCabe, Scott


John Melvin

Professor of Marketing and Tourism


Interactions between family members constitutes an important element of engagement with tourism sites, leading to enhanced value creation. Yet, we know little about how these engagement practices lead to experience outcomes. Studies of visitor engagement have explored C2C value co-creation contexts, adding to our understanding of social practices as a source of value outcomes. This study adds to this literature through a focus on the intimate social context of families' collective engagement practices, viewing the family unit as constituting a complex amalgam of individual, relational and collective resources (Epp and Price, 2008). Adopting a multi-stage and multi-method qualitative research design, we identify seven practices through which families engage with attractions, including: absorbing, interacting, information sharing, explaining, meaning construction, competing and deviating. Families associate these practices with experience outcomes; bonding, creating memories, entertainment, and learning. The findings inform the design of effective engagement platforms and resource deployment to facilitate group experiences.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2020-06
Print ISSN 0261-5177
Electronic ISSN 1879-3193
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 78
Article Number 104038
APA6 Citation Melvin, J., Winklhofer, H., & McCabe, S. (2020). Creating joint experiences - Families engaging with a heritage site. Tourism Management, 78,
Keywords Visitor engagement; Families; Tourist experiences; Family Identity Interplay; Practice theory
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