Connecting people through co-creation in the tour operating industry

According to Lier, Heijblom & Waijers (2009), Co-creation is an important trend, which is very valuable for the consumer. It is a strategy whereby the target group is the most important and has influence on the creation and implementation of new services, websites or products of a company. Peelen en Beltman (2013) state that the word ‘co-creation’ refers to one or more persons that contribute their creativity in the process. They contribute through an innovative network or platform to the development of a product.

A company that is occupied with co-creation is is a blind break travel organisation which reveals the destination on the airport. They offer trips in different kind of themes like: Adventure, Broke, City Tripping, Multi City, Sunsation and Road Tripping. Because the company is celebrating its second anniversary, they also introduced the theme: Theme of the Month, which can only be booked at a certain month. After the booking, the traveller gets a personal page with a countdown timer. A week before the trip, the client can discover the weather at the destination and he will receive a card with the code for the reveal of the destination (, 2016).

One example of the co-creation of is their Theme of the Month from August. The company thought about getting their travellers involved by letting them think about different themes and made a contest out of it. Everyone could send in a video with their idea for the theme and the employees selected the four best ideas. These ideas were: Fly ‘n Drive, Opposites Attract, Adventure by Boat and Unusual Accommodations. This last one has won the contest after people could vote for their best theme idea (, 2016).

An older example of co-creation in the tour operating industry is from the company Sawadee Reizen. Sawadee Reizen is a 30-year old tour operator which organises adventurous trips. They offer different kind of tours to all of the seven continents like: Tours, Family Trips, Single Trips and BicycleTrips (Sawadee Reizen, 2016).

They experimented with co-creation on their new trips to East-Africa. Frank Jansses, an experienced Africa specialist, created the first draft for four trips. Customers could vote for their favourite on the website. Hans Lagerwij, director of Sawadee Reizen, said that this was their first attempt with co-creation. With this attempt they wanted to meet the needs of the customer to get more involved with the development of a new product. He thinks that it is important to experiment with new initiatives for these kind of trends (Janssens, 2010).


Janssens, F. (2010, July 27). Persbericht Co-creatie Afrikareizen. Retrieved September 17, 2016, from Tourism Marketing Concepts:

Lier, H., Heijblom, R., & Waijers, A. (2009). 4.5 Challenge-marketing: co-creatie. In H. Lier, R. Heijblom, & A. Waijers, Van Experience naar Challenge Economy (pp. 84-92). Groningen/Houten: Noordhoff Uitgevers.

Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). 1. Customisation. In E. Peelen, & R. Beltman, Customer Relationship Management (p. 2016). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Sawadee Reizen. (2016). Onze reizen. Retrieved September 17, 2016, from Sawadee: (2016, July 26). Facebook – Retrieved September 17, 2016, from Facebook: (2016). Op reis met je bestemming als verrassing. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from


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