Tourism product, service

Development and marketing of a tourism package. The strict and narrow definition of a tourism product is a combination of services (accommodation, catering, entertainment, transport, excursions, and visits) at a destination, involving multiple places and providers. By extension, a “tourism product” is defined as a place designed for tourism, a type of accommodation, a tourist activity or even the practices/activities of a region or a country which are not the subject of coherent marketing offer.

In fact, this term is an economic concept inherited from the industrial world and applied to the field of tourism. Indeed, as Jean Gadrey (1992) has shown, the participation of the individual recipients is essential in the production process, which is not the case with the two other sectors of economic activity, industry, and agriculture. However, in the most standardised cases, such as the use of ATMs, this engagement is limited. On the contrary, co-presence with client-facing staff is essential and valued in tourism. The term “service” resolves such ambiguity. This is why Jean Gadrey proposed the term “servuction” (a portmanteau of service and production) to express this idea of the participation of individuals in the delivery of the service. But this word is rarely used by analysts who prefer the more resonant term “coproduction”.

Thus, tourists are co-producers of their experience. This approach makes sense when the focus is on the conditions and circumstances of implementation, when the skills and dispositions of tourists (Guibert, 2016) are called upon. This must therefore be taken into account when assessing the quality of a service.

Philippe VIOLIER


  • Gadrey Jean, 1992, L’Économie des services. Paris, La Découverte.
  • Christophe Guibert, 2016, «Les déterminants dispositionnels du “touriste pluriel”. Expériences, socialisations et contextes», SociologieS, en ligne, consulté le 19 octobre 2016.