El turismo experiencial, deportes y juegos tradicionales: Nueva perspectiva para el desarrollo turístico local


Experiential tourism, sports and traditional games: A new perspective for local tourism development



Fausto Iván Guapi-Guamán

Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo, Sede Orellana



JesseniaStefania Moreno-Manzo

Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo, Sede Orellana



Roberto Carlos Cherrez-Bahamonde

Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo, Sede Orellana






Recibido: 06 de abril  de 2020

Revisado: 12 de mayo de 2020

Aprobado: 15 de junio de 2020

Publicado: 01 de julio de 2020










The objective of the research is to analyze experiential tourism, sports and traditional games as a new perspective for the local tourism development of Ecuador, by means of an analytical method and the content analysis technique to examine research published in peer-reviewed journals during the last 10 years. In this way, a reflective section is presented in order to know tourism from a little addressed or known conception in the Ecuadorian social - academic field. Experiential tourism is a very viable alternative to attract visitors, which differs from traditional tourism that is aimed at many people, but is characterized by offering very limited and routine packages and promotions. Through this, at a personal level, tourists would have more freedom, more experiences, more opportunities to recreate, places to explore, different cultures and gastronomy to visit and enjoy, unknown places to discover, outdoor activities and sports to practice.      


Descriptors: Cultural tourism; ecotourism; sustainable development; participatory development. (Words taken from the UNESCO Thesaurus).




The human beings have generated practices in search of new alternatives for recreation and tourism, where the conventional is combined with the unconventional in order to live transformative experiences in the management of their integral growth, thus experiential tourism is a viable option to future, and a developmental tool for the countries, so we must have the necessary implements for its correct application. For this reason, we must generate a strategic plan and promote important places, with great potential source of attraction and fun, where each one of the people faces new things, carrying out a previous correct market study and segmentation towards the target audience (Araújo-Vila, 2015).

As a consequence, experiential tourism is associated with experimental marketing where tourists not only seek to buy a product but an experience (Caridad, et al., 2015). The segmentation of current tourists is millennia and also those tourists known as hipsters who are middle-class young people who like to travel. They are characterized by being people who are not only interested in going to a place and visiting its tourist attractions (natural or cultural), but also live and feel experiences that are unique and original, as well as share with the community or locals as if they were part of that community, town, city, region or country (Ordaz-Mejía & Osorio-García, 2018).

The circumstances offered by experiential tourism are related to those that tourists cannot commonly live or visualized with the naked eye (Torres-Matovelle & Baez, 2018), since it promotes occasions such as: the taste of a typical dish prepared in a local restaurant; feel part of the culture participating in the traditional dances of the town's carnival; get involved with the locals in daily activities like grazing for a day or living the artistic and creative experience, participating in painting workshops, letting people get into their imagination while enjoying the beautiful landscape, among others.  These are exemplifications of experiences that add authenticity to tourist destinations.

It can be indicated that there is a strong relationship between traditional sports-culture-heritage-tourism (Araya-Góchez, et al., 2018). In the first instance, sport allows to publicize the culture and heritage of a certain place; secondly, traditional sport promote local tourism, taking into account that conventional sports (extreme sports among others) are currently being promoted on a large scale, leaving aside the identity of the culture and heritage of a country when referring to ancestral practices (Beltrán -Beltrán, 2012).

Experiential tourism constitutes an alternative for tourists who seek to get out of the conventional activities due to the combination of its cultural, recreational and indigenous games in addition to emotions, experiences and particular sports that may make the destination significant throughout people’s stay in a given region (Carballo-Fuentes, et al., 2015). Due to the above, the research seeks to analyze experiential tourism, sports and traditional games as a new perspective for local tourism development in Ecuador, through the use of the analytical method and the content analysis technique, which are based on the examination of research published in peer-reviewed journals during the last 10 years to present a reflective section and know tourism from a little addressed or known conception inside the Ecuadorian social-academic sphere.

Experiential tourism

Tourism has progressively shifted from a rational to an emotional approach, projecting itself into the subjective perception of the tourist in living experiences focused on the cultural aspects of the receiving locality (Mateos, 2013). So, leaving behind traditional market premises, tourism cooperators must design policies to effectively set the stage from an integral scope, that is, sanitary conditions, public services, landscape maintenance, organizational culture of local companies through assertive customer service, promotion of culture and indigenous games as factors that configure the identity of a certain destination to attract the tourists’ attention.

In this sense, experiential tourism constitutes a factor that can go in line with education, since the educational system supports the idea of ​​training future tourist professionals who assertively manage the tourist approach by means of the implementation of experiential or constructivist learning methods that train leaders with a progressive, integral, organizational and managerial vision of populations. (Gutiérrez-Fernández, et al., 2011). In this respect, synergy plays a fundamental role to develop interpersonal relationships and combine culture or diversity by virtue of creating a collective conscience of preservation of natural entities to maintain the ecological environment (Ocampo-Melgar, 2014).

In addition to what has been addressed (Cazares-Valdiviezo, et al., 2017), it is proposed to incorporate sustainable tourism into the formal educational system as a transversal competence, a valid and extensive proposal that may generate a complex approach necessary to prepare people for work from a multidisciplinary approach (Orduna & Urpf, 2010).In this way,  the integrating agents of the tourist process will include the necessary curricular elements for an education that promotes experiential tourism.

On the other hand, (González-Herrera & Teixeira-de-Carvalho, 2016), comment that tourist learning is a viable option to promote experiential tourism since it allows trips for academic purposes, so students have the opportunity not only to know, but also to experience facts that promote social practices based on the progressive consolidation of tourism as a productive source and cultural exchange. However, (Pérez-Fernánde & Alonso-Campo, 2019) limit that academic trips have not been exploited as didactic tools. Likewise, (Engelbrecht, et al. , 2017) warn about the training shortcomings of graduates, being necessary to strengthen the resolution of the daily problems in tourism companies when serving the tourist, since it is required that tourists know the idiosyncrasy of the town, generating, in this way, a favorable worldview to promote the visited place (Hernández-Ramírez, 2018).

The perception of tourists about the gastronomic service is important because they take into account indicators such as price, product quality, raw material, cultural value and customer service (Armijos-Salinas, et al., 2019). In this way, there may be a greater possibility of generating a favorable and emblematic experiential tourism for the tourist.

The perception of tourists about the gastronomic service is important because they take into account indicators such as price, product quality, raw material, cultural value and customer service (Armijos-Salinas, et al., 2019), being necessary that the tourist service providers take into consideration in order to project a positive image to generate a a representative experiential tourism for the tourist.

Traditional sports and games

In the opinion of (Tabares, 2010), traditional games are related to the periphery and leisure. They should focus on being an active part of the tourist’s recreation with the purpose of coordinating a pedagogical action that emits cultural messages. In addition, (Méndez-Giménez & Fernández-Río, 2011) states that they allow the student to socialize and, therefore, adapt to the emotional context that experiential tourism offers.

The didactic action of traditional games represents an option to stimulate social learning from a creative and innovative perspective (Liuta, et al., 2019). Likewise, each locality may also provide the sports with the greatest tradition. It will help to improve the potential marketing by considering promotions of certain events, for example, a soccer match. On the other hand, it is also necessary to foster activities related to different experiences that strengthen the tourist field, such as:  customs, gastronomy and, culture of the towns visited. (Navarro, 2015), expresses that the traditional category is presented as a resource that the community has to promote for its tourist activity, which includes folklore, dances, dances, costumes and the way of celebrating certain emblematic dates, such as end of the year.  

In this sense, (Acuña & Mauriello, 2013) indicates that recreation and environmental education are compatible factors, being pertinent to focus them on the marketing of experiential tourism, since they could catch the attention of people interested in knowing and preserving a certain area.

The promotion of places where movies have been filmed could be an option to promote traditions in terms of attracting experiential tourists (Núñez-Barriopedro, et al., 2018). In this case, greater investment and multidisciplinary cooperation from both public and private organizations is required, being important to combine ideas for establishing viable projects and projecting social representations of the locality as intangible heritage (Quevedo Pérez, et al., 2016).

Local tourism development

For the existence of a local tourist development in the opinion of (Linares & Morales-Garrido, 2014), it is necessary that the community receives a concrete growth from the contribution generated by tourists, otherwise, it will only be an unidirectional benefit in favor of the tourist or the bodies that sponsor their visit. For this reason, it is necessary that the community organize as a democratically established power that counts on policies and norms in favor of preventing unfavorable actions for the group.

Tourism as a local development is a strategy envisaged by (Gambarota & Lorda, 2017), however, it should not be isolated, but rather designed and generated from a complex and multidisciplinary vision of reality, since tourism alone is not an entity that can be sustained.  Tourism must be focused on attracting tourists and, therefore, on producing capital to invest, for which it is necessary that the municipalities o provinces have a local development model (Bravo & Marín-González, 2014), where tourism may be not perceived as an extra, but rather as a means for comprehensive growth.

A policy for local strengthening is based on entrepreneurship (Saiz-Álvarez, 2018), this can revolve around the commercialization of some goods or typical products of the region, which allows organizing the community in order to grow from a sustainable vision. It is also required to implement various strategies for enhancing entrepreneurs in managing their organization with cash. In this respect, (García-Palacios, 2016) comments that, in Ecuador, organized communities have been considered to manage favorable resources for their growth, so the indigenous traditions who have been promoted by them could be of greater interest to tourists.

The training of human talent in the tourism sector is essential to provide responses and favorable attention to tourists (Pruna-Jacome & Albán-Yánez, 2019), therefore, it can be linked with the educational system in joining efforts to contribute to the generation of a comprehensive educational program where social ties may be addressed with the projection of improving the conditions of the town towards experiential tourism.

In this sense, (Sandoval-Duque, 2017) evaluates the entrepreneurship around the Ice 2 tourist route as positive, since it has allowed entrepreneurs to establish sustainable businesses and foster tourists’ recreation in the local landscape by supporting its development; considering that it does not depend exclusively on the State as a patron but on entrepreneurship in which people participate actively to promote a favorable economy (Toledo-Solha, 2019).



Experiential tourism exists almost null in reference to publications of refereed journals, being part of the so-called gray literature, for this reason, it is necessary to make other studies from the analytical and empirical view with the purpose of consolidating it, since it will lead researchers to strengthen it not only from a theoretical perspective but also from an innovative one, in this way, such studies will include it as a relatively new alternative for the academic scientific literature.

The bibliographic clues analyzed indicate that experiential tourism must be supported by policies of progress and growth with complex and multidisciplinary conceptions of reality, being fundamental elements to train human talent in charge of serving tourists, as well as of society in general with the purpose of sharing knowledge related to this new aspect of tourism that seeks to consolidate the different localities of the country.

Entrepreneurship as part of local development from the figure of experiential tourism constitutes a viable alternative for the integral growth of the population, being necessary that it germinates from policies that contribute to the ordering and organization of communities in favor of promoting their heritage tourist.

Experiential tourism is a very viable alternative to attract visitors compared to traditional tourism that is aimed at many people and is characterized by offering very limited and routine packages and promotions. Through this, tourists would have more freedom, more experiences, more opportunities to recreate, places to explore, visit and enjoy different cultures, different gastronomy, discover unknown places, practice outdoor activities and sports in a personal way, where they are in contact with nature and enjoy the various alternatives offered in the region.

Experimental consumers do not go unnoticed by the tourism sector and, therefore, experiential tourism has become fashionable and essential for them in their trips because their interests are focused on experiencing an optimal and different stay at their destination through the integration of aspects such as local culture and traditions that make them feel immersed in the local lifestyle and, hence, receive a positive image of the place visited.

It has been observed that companies in the tourism sector are moving from manufacturing products to engaging in a co-creation process between producers and tourists. Advances in communication networks are allowing both tourists and city dwellers to be producers of tourism resources.

The territorial or local gastronomy is an essential factor to strengthen experiential tourism, since the experience of consuming a typical dish allows raising the identity of the visited town, as well as a memorable and genuine tourist experience. In this respect, the gastronomic culture with respect to the elaboration of a dish contains culture, tradition, history and qualities that, in addition to flavor, can attract the attention of tourists.




Non- monetary



Thanks to the Higher Polytechnic School of Chimborazo, Orellana Headquarters, for the support in the development of the research.



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RIF: J-407575716

Koinonía. Revista Arbitrada Interdisciplinaria de Ciencias de la Educación, Turismo, Ciencias Sociales y Económicas, Ciencias del Agro y Mar y Ciencias Exactas y Aplicadas

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