Embracing the Paradox of Customer Experiences in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Dongmei Zhou, Reza Marvi, Pantea Foroudi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper aims to re-evaluate the customer experience literature in the hospitality and tourism (H&T) domain by employing a paradox lens and constructing a model for future research direction and practitioners. Using two co-citation analysis methods—a hierarchical cluster analysis and a multidimensional scaling analysis—to investigate 312 customer experience papers from the leading H&T journals with 22.124 citations over the 44-year period (1987-2021), we identified five knowledge foundations that have made up the intellectual structure of customer experience in H&T: experiential consumption, authenticity, memorability, place branding, and service. This result reveals the dualistic representations of the paradoxical character of customer experience including authentic/fantastical, structured/unstructured, branded/ecological, and bubbled/exposed. Based on this finding, this study developed a framework for scholars and marketers to reveal different approaches to managing the tensions between paradoxes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Early online date6 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. International Journal of Management Reviews published by British Academy of Management and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.


  • customer experience, hospitality and tourism, paradox, bibliometric analysis, touristic consumption, tourist experience


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