Anticipatory nostalgia in experience design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The tourism industry tries to strategically manage a customer’s experience by carefully designing, staging and managing the customer journey, in order to create a memorable experience. But what if that memory already has its onset during the experience itself? In this article, we introduce the concept of ‘anticipatory nostalgia’ and define it as a moment immediately after a peak moment in the experience, which entails the creation of a mental image of a future moment in time that is accompanied by an emotional response. We present a theoretical model to explicate a process in which anticipatory nostalgia can enhance the meaningfulness and memorability of an experience. We reason that anticipatory nostalgia is characterized by a joyous feeling yet followed by the elicitation of sad emotions. This implies that the tourist already begins to miss aspects of the experience before it is over. This moment results in a reflection which might replace the joy-sadness connection with a joy-calmness connection. Thereby, placing more emphasis on the uniqueness of the total experience. Potential methods for research are discussed in detail and address the explorative content analysis of autobiographical narratives and photo-elicited interviews, complemented by the use of virtual reality vignettes while measuring several physiological signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2798-2810
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Anticipatory nostalgia
  • emotion measurement
  • emotion theory
  • experience construct
  • experience design


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