Services are processes often produced, delivered, and consumer during a single encounter occurring in the firm's facility (Lovelock 1996, Baker & Cameron, 1996). Visitors bring a multiplicity of expectations and multiple interpretations to the service encounter. The nature and characteristics of services pose different challenges for managers, given that a service is an act, a process, or a performance (Gilmore, 1996). According to Shackley (1999) visitors need to feel well oriented to enjoy the tourism experience, managers of service environments need to understand how their customers perceive such experiences. According to Lovelock (1996) there are two distinctive features of services, firstly, a service is a process or performance, rather than just (a) "thing" and secondly, that customers are involved, to a greater or lesser degree in the service production process. Regardless of the make-up of the individual, their motivations and hoped-for experiences, it is crucial to acknowledge that all behaviour takes place within a particular setting (Goulding, 2000). This paper presents the findings of a study conducted in four service sectors in Australia. The paper makes an important contribution to the marketing and tourism industries by providing insights into service experience, its determinants and its possible implications for marketing and management.
Proceedings of 'Creating tourism knowledge', the 14th Council for Hospitality and Tourism Educators (CAUTHE) Conference, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 10-13 February 2004 / Chris Cooper, Charles Arcodia, David Solnet and Michelle Whitford (eds.),