Memorable experience

breathtaking scenery - Outi Kähkönen
Photo: Outi Kähkönen


In this lesson, you learn about different ways to analyse and develop memorable experiences.

On holidays, today’s tourists don’t want to just see or do something, they want to feel they are immersing themselves in the destination, interacting with people, engaging the senses, and learning the stories.

A memorable tourism experience is inherently personal, engages the senses, makes connections on an emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual or social level and creates a lasting memory.

It is the guests who define whether or not they have had a memorable experience. This is  based on the interaction with the service provider, but also on ´the guests’ cultural background, previous experiences and on what they are used to in their everyday lives.

You need the knowledge from all previous lessons when designing memorable experiences. 

Task: Create a concept for a memorable tourism experience or analyse an existing tourism product with the Memorable Experience Design Canvas. Go through the canvas with the help of the slides below. Check the articles listed in “Sources and further reading by topic” on the different views to experience design!

Sources and further reading by topic

Theory articles

Breiby, M. A., Duedahl, E.,  Øian, H. & Ericsson, B. 2020. Exploring Sustainable Experiences in Tourism. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 20:4, 335–351.

Coelho, M. & Gosling, M. 2018. Memorable Tourism Experience (MTE): Scale Proposal and Test. Tourism & Management Studies 14, 15-24.

Gelter, H. 2008. Total Experience Management – a conceptual model for transformational experiences within tourism. Conference proceedings The Nordic Conference on Experience 2008. Research, Education and Practice in Media,  46-78.

Pine II, B. J. & Gillmore, J. H. 2015. The Experience Economy: Past, Present and Future.

Sørensen, F. & Jensen, J. F. 2015. Value Creation and Knowledge Development in Tourism Experience Encounters. Tourism Management 46:336-346. DOI:10.1016/j.tourman.2014.07.009.

Tarssanen, S. (ed.) 2009. Handbook for Experience Stagers. LEO, Lapland Center of Expertise for the Experience Industry.

Tekoniemi-Selkälä, T. 2020. Developing High-quality and Memorable Destination Experiences. In  H. Kaihua, M. Koikkalainen, O. Kähkönen, M. Lempiäinen, M. Liimatta, M. Tapaninen & N. Vuontisvaara (eds.) Kohdekokemus – yhteinen näkemys. LAPIN AMKIN JULKAISUJA Sarja B. Tutkimusraportit ja kokoomateokset 3/2020, 18-21

Tussyadiah, I. 2014. Toward a Theoretical Foundation for Experience Design in Tourism. Journal of Travel Research 53(5):543-564.

Varley, P. J., Huijbens, E. H., Taylor, S. & Laven, D. 2020. Slow Adventure: from Natural Concept to Consumer Desire. ETOUR Rapport 2020:2.–from-natural-concept-to-consumer-desirefinal.pdf

DMO materials

Failte Ireland. Experiences Explained – A Guide to Understanding and Developing Memorable Tourism Experiences.

Tourism Nova Scotia Experience Toolkit

Tourism Queensland Tourism and Events Queensland 2022. Experience Development Resources.

Experience Cocreation

Konu, H. 2015. Developing a Forest-based Wellbeing Tourism Product Together with Customers – An Ethnographic Approach.  Tourism Management 49. DOI:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.02.006 .

Konu, H. 2016. Customer Involvement in New Experiential Tourism Service Development. Evidence in Wellbeing and Nature Tourism Contexts. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland Dissertations in Social Sciences and Business Studies No 123.

Pralahad, C. K. & Ramaswamy, V. 2004. Co-creation Experiences. The Next Practice in Value Creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing Vol. 18 Number 3 summer. DOI: 10.1002/dir.20015.

Nature as Experience Setting

Breiby, M. A. & Slåtten, T. 2018. The Role of Aesthetic Experiential Qualities for Tourist Satisfaction and Loyalty. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research. DOI 10.1108/IJCTHR-07-2017-0082 VOL. 12 NO. 1 2018, 1–14. 

Fredman, P., Wall-Reinius, S. & Grundén, A. 2012. The Nature in Nature-based Tourism. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 12:4, 289–309. DOI: 10.1080/15022250.2012.752893.

Särkkä, S., Konttinen, L. & Sjöstedt (eds.) 2013. Luonnonlukutaito – luo liiketoimintaa vihreästä hyvinvoinnista. SITRA. .

New luxury

Mäki, J.  & Tervo, A.-S. 2019. What is Finnish Luxury? Business Finland summary (in English):

Liedes, A., Sipponen, M., Tekoniemi-Selkälä, T. & Upola, S. 2021. LAPPI LUXUS Business Model. Workbook for companies.

In Finnish:

Business Finland 2021. Kehittämisen välineitä suomalaiseen luksusmatkailuun. (webinar + slides)

Mäki, J.  & Tervo, A.-S. 2019a. Mitä on suomalainen luksus. Research report.   


Buzova, D., Sanz-Blas, S. & Cervera-Taulet, A. 2021. “Sensing the Destination: Development of the Destination Senscape Index. Tourism Management, Vol. 87, December 2021.

Fesenko, I. & García-Rosell, J.-C. 2019. An Acoustic Perspective on Nature-based Tourism Experience – The Sound of Dog-sledding, Lapland. Finnish Journal of Tourism Research Vol.15 Nro 1.

Hanni-Vaara, P. & Tapaninen, M. 2022. Sensory Observations on Nature
– a Workshop in Salla During the Snow-free Period. In M. Angeria, M. Hirvaskari & O. Kähkönen (Eds) Phenomena of Arctic Nature. Principles and Practices of Nature-based Tourism., 59-64.

Havas, K. & Jaakonaho, K. 2013. Evästä matkailuun – Luotsi makumatkan rakentamiseen. Haaga-Helian ammattikorkeakoulu.

Johnston, B. 2017. Travel for the Senses.

Kim, J. & Fesenmaier, D. 2015. Designing Tourism Places: Understanding the Tourism Experience Through Our Senses. Travel and Tourism Research Association: Advancing Tourism Research Globally 19.

Paris & Co. 2019.The Sense of Smell, Touristic Memory.

Salla –with every sense.

Skyscanner 2020. Let Your Senses Take You on a Journey.

Storytelling and storification

Hughes, K. & Moscardo, G. 2019. Fun with Fungi in the Forest: Making Tourist Experiences More Sustainable with Quality Interpretation.

Kalliomäki, A. 2019.How to Storify the Service Experience. Storification Guide.

Skift 2020. Destination Storytelling 2020: A Guide to Telling Great Stories.

Tourism and Events Queensland 2021. Extraordinary Experiences Through Storytelling. Storytelling Manual.

Tourism and Events Queensland. Visitor Information Centre Workbook.

In Finnish

Iso-Aho, J., Nuutinen, A. & Vartiainen, P. (eds.) 2020. Tarinareitti. Hyödyntämis- ja aktivointiopas yrittäjälle.

Komulainen, M. 2013. Maiseman tarina. Opas maisemapalveluiden luomiseen.Maa- ja kotitalousnaisten keskus.

Kylänen, M. 2018. Tarinallistaminen luontomatkailussa. In N. Ihalainen (ed. ) Luonto hyvinvoinnin lähteenä ja matkailun edistäjänä.

Panttila, P. 2020. Ruokamatkailun tarinallistaminen. Opas ydin- ja palvelutarinan käsikirjoittamiseen.

Transformative / Transformational Tourism

Wolf, I. D., Ainsworth, G. B. & Crowley, J. 2017. Transformative Travel as a Sustainable Market Niche for Protected Areas: A New Development, Marketing and Conservation Model.  Journal of Sustainable Tourism 25:11, 1650–1673.

In Finnish:

Konu, H. Muutosmatkailu – mitä sillä tarkoitetaan? GC Finland -blogi.–muutosmatkailu—mita-silla-tarkoitetaan-/.

Rural Finland. Muutosmatkailu matkailuyrittäjän näkökulmasta.