Our research aims to provide actionable and strategic insights for public and private organisations engaged in this rapidly growing part of the local and global economy. We will also contribute to our general understanding of Australian society and consumer (sub)cultures.

Our current focus

Experiential tourism in the transformation economy

As culture changes, so too does the perception of value, including in contexts such as experiential tourism. One commonly cited contemporary trend is the shift to the ‘transformation economy’, in which consumers value opportunities to change and transcend their current selves. Experiential tourism is well placed to facilitate such change, as it often takes place in extraordinary circumstances and disrupts familiar patterns and norms.

Understanding the nature of the transformation economy, its effects on what consumers value, and the subsequent impact on experiential tourism is of vital interest to the industry.

It would provide insight into broader cultural trends while helping the tourism industry make the transition from ‘experiential’ to ‘transformational’.

Social transformations in food cultures

Food cultures have a significant role to play in experiential tourism, especially for regional and rural areas. Destination experiences such as vineyard and distillery ‘cellar doors’ have the potential to reshape local economies and contribute to the development of contemporary food cultures.

Some of these food cultures have seen drastic changes in recent years, including massive shifts in their social characteristics. For example, women have become central to the craft spirits industry when it comes to both production and consumption.

By studying this social transformation in the craft spirit market, we can investigate the relationship between consumer cultures and the industries that drive experiential tourism in Australia.

Project team

Principal Investigator Dr Lois Shedd Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CXI Research Group
Co-Investigators Associate Professor Sean Sands Co-Director, CXI Research Group
Dr Carla Ferraro Lead, Retail and Consumer Behaviour, CXI Research Group
Associate Professor Jan Brace-Govan Monash Business School
Research Assistant Stefan Lodewyckx PhD candidate, Swinburne Business School

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