Keywords

Customer experience, electronic to face (E2F) community, group dynamics, Meetup, online communities, theme parks

Abstract

Many people enjoy theme park and other leisure experiences with their families; however, today a great number of single, geographically mobile individuals desire to partake in such experiences. 'Meetup' is the world’s largest social network of local groups and thus allows for both online and off-line (in person) interactions. Using an ethnographic approach, this study examines how individuals can enjoy activities centered on common activities, interests, and opinions (AIO) via immersion in a Meetup group over the course of a year. Notably, members visited with greater frequency, had less tolerance for long lines, and were more likely to attend special events, eat at specialty restaurants, and consume alcohol. Group members also exchanged travel advice and both contributed and detracted from the enjoyment of the theme park experience. Membership in this Meetup group increased the frequency of visits and deeper exploration of the theme park resort, thus improving behavioral loyalty among annual pass holders. Managers can learn from these online communities to foster interactions among their guests and better target this new market.

Publication Date

2-26-2016

Original Citation

Torres, E. N., & Orlowski, M. (2016). Let's 'Meetup' at the theme park. Journal of Vacation Marketing, doi: 10.1177/1356766716634152

DOI

10.1177/1356766716634152

Document Type

Paper

Language

English

Source Title

Journal of Vacation Marketing

Publication Version

Post-print

College

Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Location

Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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