This paper deals with experience as an immaterial aspect of consumption action and as a typical trait of contemporary society. First of all, it aims at exploring the uses of the concept of ‘experience’ in the tourist sector, which has characteristics that are suitable for an analysis from such a viewpoint. It thus examines how experience is regarded in tourist studies, from both a modern and postmodern perspective; and it reviews the applications of theories on experience that are brought in tourism by other disciplines, i.e. psychology and economics. In the second place, it intends to discuss the applicability of the concept of ‘consumption experience’ as developed by consumer researchers, by investigating the specificities of the construct as well as highlighting its limits.