Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework based on an understanding of the principles of popular mobile-enabled games, indicating how organisations in the tourism sector could meet the needs of Millennials and Generation Z through engaging with the existing gamified location-based practice of geocaching as an information and communication technology enabled gamified enhancement to the destination experience. Design/methodology/approach: As a primarily conceptual paper, the authors take an inductive qualitative approach to theory building based on the understanding of an existing practice (geocaching) that is undertaken among a community of practitioners (geocachers), which results in the presentation of a conceptual framework, which is the theory itself that the authors have constructed from the understanding of what is going on and which principles can then be applied across other tourism practices. Findings: Findings indicate that through engaging with geocaching, smaller entrepreneurial businesses even in non-urban destinations that fall outside of the remit of smart city developments, and in tourism destinations on the less technologically enabled or resource-rich side of the digital divide, can reap the benefits associated with employing the principles and practices associated with smart tourism to meet the needs of this new generation of tourism consumers who seek richer digital and often gamified tourism experiences. Originality/value: This paper fills a gap in the literature regarding the way many different types of tourism destinations could meet the needs of Millennials and Generation Z tourists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Tourism Futures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2018

    Research areas

  • Gamification, Generation Z, Geocaching, Millennials, Rural tourism, Smart tourism

ID: 2720133