Title: ADVENTUREQUAL: an extension of the SERVQUAL conceptual gap model in young people's outdoor adventure

Authors: Keith Donne

Addresses: Department of Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality, University of Gloucestershire Business School, Park Campus, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH, UK

Abstract: The provision of outdoor adventure watersports for young people is a complex service task, where participants| heterogeneous needs must be carefully managed. Research into the quality of this experience and its management is limited, quantitative, lacking a clear theoretical and empirical underpinning, and typically presents an adult perspective of young people|s needs. This study draws on the conceptual basis for SERVQUAL and elicits rich, qualitative data directly from watersports participants, employees and management at an outdoor adventure centre, and evaluates how service quality and customer satisfaction are managed in that specific context. The critical influences on participants| experiences are instructors| behaviour and attitude through their |intrinsic service values|, participants| interactions with one another in their own peer |socialscape| and their own performance in developing skilled and hedonic consumption of watersports. The SERVQUAL conceptual gap model is reconceptualised as the more appropriate ADVENTUREQUAL conceptual gap model, for investigating young people|s outdoor adventure watersports.

Keywords: ADVENTUREQUAL; SERVQUAL; conceptual gap models; customer satisfaction; service quality; customer expectations; customer perceptions; outdoor adventure experience; young people; child research; children; adventure sport management; adventure sport marketing; watersports.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2009.029088

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2009 Vol.6 No.3, pp.253 - 276

Available online: 03 Nov 2009 *

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