Affordances for tourism service design

Kristof Tomej*, Zheng Xiang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper argues that the concept of affordance, which captures the relations between one's abilities and the properties of one's environment, can help in aligning the elements of a tourism service with intended service experiences. We start with a general review of its conceptual basis in ecological psychology and design research, and then elaborate on the concept's potential applications in the context of tourism service design. The application of an affordance-centred framework is illustrated through a case study which examined a group of tourists with and without visual impairment on a holiday to an international destination. Finally, we offer four propositions to guide the use of the affordance concept in tourism service design.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103029
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • affordance
  • service design
  • tourism design
  • servicescape
  • participant observation
  • visual impairment


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