The tourist experience has for a long time been one-sidedly understood as either the peak experience, or the consumer experience. For a better understanding of the tourist experience, this paper tries to build a conceptual model, in which both dimension of the tourist experience are integrated as a structured and interrelated whole. The position and role of each experiential component, such as eating, sleeping, transportation and so on in tourism can be more clearly understood in terms of this model. For an illustration of the model, food experience in tourism is examined in detail. It is demonstrated that food consumption in tourism can be either the peak touristic experience or the supporting consumer experience, dependent upon specific circumstances. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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