Recent advances in the field of technology have led to the emergence of innovative technological smart solutions providing unprecedented opportunities for application in the tourism and hospitality industry. With intensified competition in the tourism market place, it has become paramount for businesses to explore the potential of technologies, not only to optimize existing processes but facilitate the creation of more meaningful and personalized services and experiences. This study aims to bridge the current knowledge gap between smart technologies and experience personalization to understand how smart mobile technologies can facilitate personalized experiences in the context of the hospitality industry. By adopting a qualitative case study approach, this paper makes a two-fold contribution; it a) identifies the requirements of smart technologies for experience creation, including information aggregation, ubiquitous mobile connectedness and real time synchronization and b) highlights how smart technology integration can lead to two distinct levels of personalized tourism experiences. The paper concludes with the development of a model depicting the dynamic process of experience personalization and a discussion of the strategic implications for tourism and hospitality management and research.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Alt, R., & Klein, S. (2011). Twenty years of electronic markets research-looking backwards towards the future. Electronic Markets The International Journal on Networked Business, 21(1), 41–51.
Andersson, T. D. (2007). The tourist in the experience economy. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 7(1), 46–58.
Baron, S., & Harris, K. (2008). Consumers as resource integrators. Journal of Marketing Management, 24(1–2), 113–130.
Barsky, J. & Nash, L. (2010). What is more important than location in selecting a hotel? Retrieved from http://www.marketmetrix.com/en/default.aspx?s=research&p=MoreImportantThanLocation.
Benckendorff, P., Moscardo, G., & Murphy, L. (2005). High tech versus high touch: visitor responses to the use of technology in tourist attractions. Tourism Recreation Research, 30(3), 37–47.
Binkhorst, E., & Den Dekker, T. (2009). Agenda for co-creation tourism experience research. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 18(2/3), 311–327.
Buhalis, D. (2003). Etourism: Information technology for strategic tourism management. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Buhalis, D. & Jun, S.H. (2011). E-tourism. Contemporary Tourism Reviews. Retrieved from http://www.goodfellowpublishers.com/free_files/fileEtourism.pdf.
Buhalis, D., & Law, R. (2008). Progress in information technology and tourism management. 20 years on and 10 years after the internet. The state of etourism research. Tourism Management, 29(4), 609–623.
Buhalis, D., & Licata, M. C. (2002). The future etourism intermediaries. Tourism Management, 23(3), 207–220.
Buhalis, D., & Wagner, R. (2013). E-destinations: Global best practice in tourism technologies and application. In L. Cantoni & X. Xiang (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2012 (pp. 119–130). Vienna: Springer Verlag.
Cornell Hospitality Industry Perspectives (2010). Making Customer Satisfaction Pay: Connecting Survey Data to Financial Outcomes in the Hotel Industry. 5 (July 2010). Retrieved from: http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/perspective/.
Egger, R., & Buhalis, D. (2008). Etourism case studies: Management and marketing issues. Burlington: Elsevier Ltd.
Gonzalez, G., Lopez, B., & De la Rosa, J. L. (2004). Smart user models for tourism a holistic approach for personalized tourism services. Information Technology & Tourism, 6, 273–286.
Gretzel, U. (2011). Intelligent systems in tourism: a social science perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), 757–779.
Gretzel, U., & Jamal, T. (2009). Conceptualizing the creative tourist class: technology, mobility, and tourism experiences. Tourism Analysis, 14(4), 471–481.
Gretzel, U., Fesenmaier, D. R., & O’Leary, J. T. (2006). The transformation of consumer behaviour. In D. Buhalis & C. Costa (Eds.), Tourism business frontiers: Consumers, products and industry (pp. 9–18). Oxford: Elsevier.
Gupta, S., & Vajic, M. (2000). The contextual and dialectical nature of experiences. California: Thousand Oaks.
Hallencreutz, J., & Turner, D. M. (2011). Exploring organizational change best practice: Are there any clear-cut models and definitions? International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 3(1), 60–68.
Himmelreich, J. (2013). Good urban governance and smart technologies: A german city as a best practice case of e-government. In K. B. Akhilesh (Ed.), Emerging dimensions of technology management, (pp. 55–61): Springer India.
Hjalager, A.-M. (2010). A review of innovation research in tourism. Tourism Management, 31(1), 1–12.
Höpken, W., Fuchs, M., Zanker, M., & Beer, T. (2010). Context-based adaptation of mobile applications in tourism. Information Technology and Tourism, 12(2), 175–195.
Hultkrantz, L. (2002). Will there be a unified wireless marketplace for tourism? Current Issues in Tourism, 5(2), 149–161.
Komninos, N. (2013). Smart Cities and the Future Internet: Innovation ecosystems of embedded spatial intelligence, ICEIRD 2013 Conference Proceedings. 2013-ICEIRD-Smart Cities and the Future Internet.
Lamsfus, C., Grün, C., Alzua-Sorzabal, A. & Werthner, H. (2010). Context-based matchmaking to enhance tourists’ experience. Journal for the Informatics Professional, CEPIS-Upgrade Journal, 203.
Lee, H. J. (2012a). A review of value creating motive and business model in smart technology. In Y. H. Park, Q. Jin, M. S. Yeo, & B. Hu (Eds.), Human centric technology and service in smart space (Vol. 182, pp. 159–163). Dordrecht: Springer Verlag.
Lee, H.J. (2012b). A study on the promotion of the business service for regional retail store using smart technology. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, July 2012.
Matloka, J., & Buhalis, D. (2010). Destination marketing through user personalized content. In U. Gretzel, R. Law, & M. Fuchs (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2010 (pp. 519–530). Vienna: Springer Verlag.
McCardle, J. R. (2002). The challenge of integrating ai & smart technology in design education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 12(1), 59–76.
Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case studies applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publications.
Middleton, V. T. C., Fyall, A., Morgan, M., & Ranchhod, A. (2009). Marketing in travel and tourism (4th ed.). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Morgan, M., Lugosi, P., & Ritchie, J. R. B. (2010). The tourism and leisure experience: Consumer and managerial perspectives. Bristol: Channel View.
Neuhofer, B. (2012). An analysis of the perceived value of touristic location based services. In M. Fuchs, F. Ricci, & L. Cantoni (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2012 (pp. 84–95). Vienna: Springer Verlag.
Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D., & Ladkin, A. (2012). Conceptualising technology enhanced destination experiences. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 1(1–2), 36–46.
Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D., & Ladkin, A. (2013). High tech for high touch experiences: A case study from the hospitality industry. In L. Cantoni & Z. Xiang (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2013 (pp. 290–301). Vienna: Springer Verlag.
Niininen, O., Buhalis, D., & March, R. (2007). Customer empowerment in tourism through consumer centric marketing (ccm). Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 10(3), 265–281.
Patsadu, O., Nukoolkit, C. & Watanapa, B. (2012). Survey of smart technologies for fall motion detection: Techniques, algorithms and tools. Advances in Information Technology, 137–147.
Peterson, S. (2011). Hotel 2020: The personalization paradox driving intimacy, consistency and efficiency for profitable growth. United States of America: IBM Institute for Business Value.
Piccoli, G., O’Connor, P., Capaccioli, C., & Alvarez, R. (2003). Customer relationship management–a driver for change in the structure of the u.S. Lodging industry. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 44(61), 61–73.
Pine, J. B., & Gilmore, J. H. (1999). The experience economy: Work is a theatre and every business a stage. Cambridge: Harvard Business School.
Pizam, A. (2010). Creating memorable experiences. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29(3), 343.
Poslad, S., Laamanen, H., Malaka, R., Nick, A., Buckle, P. & Zipf, A. (2001). Crumpet: Creation of user-friendly mobile services personalized for tourism. Paper presented at the 3G London.
Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). Co-creation experiences: the next practice in value creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(3), 5–14.
Raento, M., Oulasvirta, A., & Eagle, N. (2009). Smartphones an emerging tool for social scientists. Sociological Methods Research, 37(3), 426–454.
Ramaswamy, V. & Gouillart, F. (2008). Co-creating strategy with experience co-creation. Balanced Scorecard Report, 10(4), 1–3.
Ritzer, G., & Jurgenson, N. (2010). Production, consumption, prosumption. Journal of Consumer Culture, 10(1), 13–36.
Rogerson, J. M., & Sims, S. R. (2012). The greening of urban hotels in South Africa: evidence from Gauteng. Urban Forum, 23(3), 391–407.
Rust, R., & Oliver, R. (2000). The real-time service product: Conquering customer time and space. In J. A. Fitzsimmons & M. Fitzsimmons (Eds.), New service development: Creating memorable experiences (pp. 67–89). London: Sage.
Sandström, S., Edvardsson, B., Kristensson, P., & Magnusson, P. (2008). Value in use through service experience. Managing Service Quality, 18(2), 112–126.
Schmidt-Belz, B., Nick, A., Poslad, S. & Zipf, A. (2002). Personalized and location-based mobile tourism services. Paper presented at the Proceedings from the Workshop on Mobile Tourism Support Systems.
Schmidt-Rauch, S. & Schwabe, G. (2013). Designing for mobile value co-creation—the case of travel counselling. Electronic Markets, March.
Shaw, G., Bailey, A., & Williams, A. M. (2011). Service dominant logic and its implications for tourism management: the co-production of innovation in the hotel industry. Tourism Management, 32(2), 207–214.
Sheldon, P. (1997). Tourism information technologies. Oxford: CAB.
Shen, A., & Ball, A. D. (2009). Is personalization of services always a good thing? Exploring the role of technology-mediated personalization (tmp) in service relationships. Journal of Services Marketing, 23(2), 80–92.
Sigala, M. (2009). E-service quality and web 2.0: Expanding quality models to include customer participation and inter-customer support. The Service Industries Journal, 29(10), 1341–1358.
Tussyadiah, I.P. & Fesenmaier, D.R. (2007). Interpreting tourist experiences from first-person stories: A foundation for mobile guides. Paper presented at the 15th European Conference on Information Systems, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Tussyadiah, I. P., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2009). Mediating the tourist experiences: access to places via shared videos. Annals of Tourism Research, 36(1), 24–40.
Uriely, N. (2005). The tourist experience: conceptual developments. Annals of Tourism Research, 32(1), 199–216.
van Limburg, B. (2012). Visiting suriname, using dart to analyze a visitor’s perspective in a cocreation enviornment. Information Technology and Tourism, 13(2), 119–132.
Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2008). Service-dominant logic: continuing the evolution. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science Review, 36(1), 1–10.
Wang, D., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2013). Transforming the Travel Experience: The Use of Smartphones for Travel. In L. Cantoni & Z. Xiang (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2013 (pp. 58–69). Vienna: Springer Verlag.
Wang, F., Head, M., & Archer, N. (2000). The relationship building model for the web retail market place. Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, 10(5), 374–384.
Wang, D., Fesenmaier, D. R., Werthner, H., & Wöber, K. (2010). The journal of information technology and tourism: A content analysis of the past 10 years. In U. Gretzel, R. Law, & M. Fuchs (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2010 (pp. 3–16). Vienna: Springer Verlag.
Wang, D., Park, S., & Fesenmaier, D. R. (2012). The role of smartphones in mediating the touristic experience. Journal of Travel Research, 51(4), 371–387.
Werthner, H., & Klein, S. (1999). Information technology and tourism: A challenging relationship. Vienna: Springer.
Worden, K., Bullough, W. A., & Haywood, J. (2003). The smart approach - an introduction to smart technologies. In K. Worden, W. A. Bullough, & J. Haywood (Eds.), Smart technologies. River Edge: World Scientific.
Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). London: Sage.
Yovcheva, Z., Buhalis, D., & Gatzidis, C. (2013). Engineering augmented tourism experiences. In L. Cantoni & Z. Xiang (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2013 (pp. 24–35). Vienna: Springer Verlag.
Zach, F. J., Gretzel, U., & Xiang, Z. (2010). Innovation in web marketing programs of american convention and visitor bureaus. In U. Gretzel, R. Law, & M. Fuchs (Eds.), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2010 (pp. 47–63). Vienna: Springer Verlag.
Responsible Editor: Chulmo Koo
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D. & Ladkin, A. Smart technologies for personalized experiences: a case study in the hospitality domain. Electron Markets 25, 243–254 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-015-0182-1
- Smart technology
- Case study