The new age experience in Sedona, Arizona
Poulston, JM; Pernecky, T
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This working paper examines the potential to customize a New Age destination, using data collected from hospitality and tourist operators at Sedona, Arizona, United States of America (USA). Data show that customization is overt at tourist attractions, but that hotels generally limit advertising of New Age products and services to in-house guest information. Resistance to the New Age phenomenon is considered to influence levels of customization, and some interviewees noted a preference to the term ‘spiritual seeker’ to describe their target market. As customers were offered spiritual development, self-help, and stress relief, it was determined that New Age tourism is an experience rather than a service, providing some support for Hemmington’s (2007) thesis that hospitality is primarily experiential. The paper provides a list of products and services of potential interest to New Age tourists, and the observation that Sedona, while attractive to New Age tourists, is also an expensive upscale resort, therefore limiting access to some visitors.