It turns out that experiences are more valuable than things. Since most people are in the pursuit of happiness, hospitality owners can promote to potential guests/patrons the benefits of experiences over just things.
People assume that because materials things last longer than experiences, that things will increase our happiness more than so than experiences (such as dining out, vacationing, and attending a concert). However, because experiences only last a short time, that makes us value and savor them even more.
Over time, people’s satisfaction with things they bought quickly fades (since we get used to having them) while over time, people’s satisfaction with experiences they spent money on increases (since we are thankful for those wonderful opportunities and fond memories).
We get used to having new things, so we keep raising the bar to want more and more. There will always be someone out there with something better than we have.
Alternatively, “stuffocation” is a term used to define the concept of being stressed out from the build-up of junk we will never use. That is why there has been an increasing interest in “minimalism” which means owning less but valuing it more because we only keep and use (or enjoy) what we really love.
Experiences can be more life-changing than things. They introduce us to new perspectives, we learn life lessons, and we express gratitude easier. Memories live on. Experiences can become part of our identity (for example, completing a marathon is a very meaningful event). Experiences can help define our purpose and passions which shapes our lives.
Experiences cannot be quantified and they live on forever. Also, because we can share experiences with others, they become part of stories we recall with them later. Possessions do not contribute to social relationships.
In fact, we are less likely to negatively compare our own experiences to someone else’s than we would with material purchases. Moreover, while material things add to our routines, experiences allow us to take a break from them.
Anticipation of experiences causes excitement and enjoyment while anticipation for material things causes impatience. Since our lives are an accumulation of events, it makes sense that experiences have a greater impact on us and are more valuable than things.
Places of hospitality can place an emphasis on the quality experiences their guests will cherish forever since experiences are more valuable than things:
- Enjoying the local cuisine
- Going on fun adventures
- Making fond memories with loved ones
- Marveling at the beauty of nature
- Seeing new places and learning about different cultures