Revisiting D-Day and Holt’s model: Engineering the visitation experience

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy


School of Business and Law




Originally published as:

MacCarthy, M., & Wilson, G. (2016). Revisiting D-Day and Holt’s model: Engineering the visitation experience. In proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference. (pp. 1030-1036) Christchurch, Australia.

Original article available here


This paper examines experience engineering at various points of interest adjacent to the beaches of the D-Day Landing Area in Normandy, France. Using Holt’s 1995 typology of symbolic consumption as an interpretive frame a number of significant places, towns, museums, cemeteries, gun batteries, beaches and plinths were examined. Interactions with the public at these sites including the introspection of five academics formed the data. Visitation experiences were considered in relation to the range of consumption metaphors afforded by Holt’s model. The results are consistent with Holt’s explanation of symbolic consumption. These rich and nuanced examples of experiential consumption are typified by the four consumption metaphors of Holt’s model; namely, Experience, Integration, Play and Classification. The findings allude to the multiple ways in which consumers experience thanatourism. The findings also highlight the various techniques used by custodians of the D-Day area as they engineer experiences for visitor consumption.


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