Authors: Ms. Frances Cassidy, Dr. Margaret Hume
Abstract: Recent tourism research identified some challenges for the future of the sector. Of principal concern was the increasing importance of collaboration and especially coopetition not only within a tourism destination but also among destinations to ensure growth and survival within the sector within regions (Mariani, Buhalis, Longhi, & Vitouladiti, 2014) . This paper aims to update this discussion by elaborating the definition and meaning of core and peripheral tourism destinations to inform the design of the user experience in destination management, the marketing communications of tourism destinations and the collaboration and coopetition in destination management. Redefining the tourism product and better understanding the customer’s perceptions of core and peripheral experiences, how they choose and bundle them can inform how the collaboration of providers at destinations can contribute to overcoming challenges and create regional opportunity and growth and promote destination choice. Better understanding of the role of these experiences and developing a collaborative culture between providers of core and peripheral experiences will cement the future of many destinations. This paper examined in depth the ethnography of six travelers based in Brisbane (Qld. Australia). The purpose of this was to develop a demographic profile of the participants, their travel group type and to provide a detailed, in-depth description of participants understanding of core and peripheral experiences together with their choice motivation for the experiences they sought at a destination. The study found that consumers identified core experiences as activities, attractions and accommodation that were popular, well known and well branded, signature and heavily promoted. Those who traveled to the destination for the core experience chose and enjoyed wellknown and branded experiences. Alternately, participants defined peripheral experiences as local, quirky, unknown, less popular, less crowded and natural. Those who chose a destination based on the peripheral experience where motivated by anonymity and adventure. They considered more local, less known and boutique restaurants and local activities and experiences, such as going to a cultural display and purchasing local handicrafts were considered more important and intentional. Those who traveled to a core destination for an event suggested they were not averse to considering peripheral experiences, however they did not actively search for them when planning and the interaction was incidental or accidental whereas peripheral experience tourists suggested they were not likely to participate in core (mainstream) experiences.
Keywords: Core, Peripheral, Experiences, Destinations