Sunrise on Mount Abraham
Most of the books that have influenced our thinking about experience development are not focused on tourism, or even on experience development. There are two books that at the high level discuss the difference between the retail and infinite approaches to experience development. These are Start with Why and Infinite Games, both by Simon Sinek.
The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath goes into more detail on the importance of moments and how to create them.
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has been part of how we approach experiences from the beginning. As transformational experiences are discussed in tourism his work provides an important introduction to the need for those experiences to intrinsically motivated.
Resonate by Nancy Duarte and Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller are both good resources for those looking at a storytelling approach focused on the guest as the hero.
Sprint by Jake Knapp provides a step-by-step approach based on human-centred design, design thinking and service design that can easily be adapted to experience development. It skips the countless studies that are loved in tourism to instead focus on creating something tangible that can be implemented.
Inspired to Inspire by Dr. Jacquie Gilson is a newer book that is based on many of the same principles we use but focused on interpretation.
The Adventure Travel Guide Standard developed by the Adventure Travel Trade Association is a great starting point when considering the role of the guides in creating memorable experiences in the adventure tourism context.