Emotions embody the value in tourism experiences and drive essential outcomes such as intent to recommend. Current models do not explain how the ebb and flow of emotional arousal during an experience relate to outcomes, however. We analyzed 15 participants’ experiences at the Vincentre museum and guided village tour in Nuenen, the Netherlands. This Vincent van Gogh-themed experience led to a wide range of intent to recommend and emotional arousal, measured as continuous phasic skin conductance, across participants and exhibits. Mixed-effects analyses modeled emotional arousal as a function of proximity to exhibits and intent to recommend. Experiences with the best outcomes featured moments of both high and low emotional arousal, not one continuous “high,” with more emotion during the middle of the experience. Tourist experience models should account for a complex relationship between emotions experienced and outcomes such as intent to recommend. Simply put, more emotion is not always better.
- heritage tourism
- skin conductance