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Virtual Reality and Attitudes Toward Tourism Destinations

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Recent developments in Virtual Reality (VR) technology present a tremendous opportunity for the tourism industry. This research aims to better understand how the VR experience may influence travel decision making by investigating spatial presence in VR environments and its impact on attitudes toward tourism destinations. Based on a study involving virtual walkthrough of tourism destinations with 202 participants, two dimensions of spatial presence were identified: being somewhere other than the actual environment and self-location in a VR environment. The analysis revealed that users’ attention allocation to VR environments contributed significantly to spatial presence. It was also found that spatial presence positively affects post VR attitude change toward tourism destinations, indicating the persuasiveness of VR. No significant differences were found across VR stimuli (devices) and across prior visitation.
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Virtual Reality and Attitudes toward Tourism
Destinations*
Iis P. Tussyadiaha, Dan Wangb and Chenge (Helen) Jiab
aSchool of Hospitality Business Management
Carson College of Business
Washington State University Vancouver, USA
iis.tussyadiah@wsu.edu
bSchool of Hotel & Tourism Management
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
{d.wang; chenge.jia}@polyu.edu.hk
Abstract
Recent developments in Virtual Reality (VR) technology present a tremendous opportunity for
the tourism industry. This research aims to better understand how the VR experience may
influence travel decision making by investigating spatial presence in VR environments and its
impact on attitudes toward tourism destinations. Based on a study involving virtual walkthrough
of tourism destinations with 202 participants, two dimensions of spatial presence were identified:
being somewhere other than the actual environment and self-location in a VR environment. The
analysis revealed that users’ attention allocation to VR environments contributed significantly to
spatial presence. It was also found that spatial presence positively affects post VR attitude change
toward tourism destinations, indicating the persuasiveness of VR. No significant differences
were found across VR stimuli (devices) and across prior visitation.
Keywords: virtual reality; spatial presence; attitude change; virtual tourism; non-travel.
1 Introduction
Virtual reality (VR) is touted to be one of the important contemporary
technological developments to greatly impact the tourism industry.
While VR has been around since the late 1960s, recent developments in
VR platforms, devices, and hypermedia content production tools have
allowed for the technology to emerge from the shadows into the realm
of everyday experiences. The (potential) roles of VR in tourism
management and marketing have been discussed in tourism literature
(e.g., Cheong, 1995; Dewailly, 1999; Guttentag, 2010; Huang et al.,
2016; Williams & Hobson, 1995). VR has been suggested as a substitute
for travel and tourism products (i.e., a substitution for actual visitation)
(Cheong, 1995), making it beneficial for the management of protected
* Citation: Tussyadiah, I.P., Wang, D., & Jia, C.H. (2017). Virtual reality and attitudes
toward tourism destinations. In Schegg, R., & Stangl, B. (Eds.), Information and
Communication Technologies in Tourism 2017. Springer International Publishing.
areas, such as natural and cultural heritage sites (i.e., to limit the number
of tourists or restrict visitation), and, thus, a positive contributor to
sustainability (Dewailly, 1999). Recent innovations in VR offer
unbounded potential for mass virtual visitation to actual tourism
destinations. The availability of low cost VR devices and the abundance
of tourism-related VR content make it easier for people to experience
virtual tours of tourist cities and attractions. Studies also argue that VR
is a powerful tourism marketing tool (Huang, et al., 2016; Williams &
Hobson, 1995; Williams, 2006). It provides marketers opportunities to
offer more compelling imagery of tourism destinations to potential
tourists by giving them a sense of what it is like to be there, a “try before
you buy” experience.
As VR provides an environment in which users can retrieve information
via multi-sensory (e.g., visual, auditory and kinaesthetic) modalities,
users are able to perceive realistic representation of the environment it
portrays (Slater & Usoh, 1993). Consequently, the immersive nature of
the VR experience has been identified as a means to facilitate consumer
learning of products (Suh & Lee, 2005), increase brand recognition,
product recall, and memory of experiences (Kim & Biocca, 1997; Mania
& Chalmers, 2001), and generate positive attitude and behavioural
responses. Importantly, an immersive VR experience allows users to
perceive a sense of being in the virtual environment, a perception of
presence (Slater & Usoh, 1993; Steuer, 1992), which is key to the
effectiveness of persuasive VR content. Indeed, literature in VR has
focused on theorizing presence and conceptualizing its determinants,
correlates, covariates, and consequences in various contexts, such as in
education, healthcare, entertainment, retailing, etc. (e.g., Burke, 1996;
Mania & Chalmers, 2001; Steuer, 1992). However, these studies, as well
as VR studies in tourism context (e.g., Huang et al., 2016), mainly dealt
with simulated virtual worlds where resemblances to real places were
coincidental (e.g., virtual seminar room, 3D tourism attractions).
From a theoretical point of view, researching VR experience with actual
tourism destinations will provide: (1) a better understanding of presence
in VR experiences involving virtual depictions of real environments
where possible actions resemble actual consumption (e.g., sightseeing)
and (2) a conceptualization of the role of the VR experience in shaping
attitudes toward actual consumption (i.e., visitation). From a managerial
point of view, as destinations are faced with strategic decisions about
investment in different VR platforms and modalities, understanding how
travel consumers respond to various VR stimuli (i.e., attitudinal
consequences of “having been” to a destination) is of practical
importance. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the
perceived spatial presence during a virtual walkthrough of a tourism
destination and how it influences users’ attitude toward the destination.
2 Theoretical Foundation
The discussion of the persuasiveness of VR experiences is centred on
presence theory. Presence is understood as the psychological state in
which media users feel lost or immersed in the mediated environment;
the degree to which users feel that they are somewhere other than the
actual environment (Slater & Usoh, 1993). As VR environments
facilitate sensory and motor engagement (e.g., moving head allows
changes in point of view, walking or haptic feedback enables navigation
in VR environment), they allow users to perceive vivid mental
representations of the mediated spaces (e.g., tourist cities) and, thus,
enhance the feeling of embodiment (Wirth et al., 2007). Slater, Usoh,
and Steed (1994) used a navigation metaphor of presence in virtual
environment, which includes the user’s sense of being there and the
locality of the virtual environment. Using the transportation metaphor,
Kim and Biocca (1997) operationalized presence as having two
dimensions: arrival (i.e., a feeling of being present in the mediated
environment) and departure (i.e., a feeling of separation from the
physical environment). Finally, Wirth et al. (2007) associated spatial
presence with two dimensions: self-location (i.e., the feeling of being
located in mediated environments) and, in most cases, perceived action
possibilities. Recent studies apply the aforementioned definitions of
presence in various contexts (e.g., Weibel, et al., 2015; Leonardis, 2014).
This study defines presence as the users’ perception of self-location in a
VR environment and separation from the actual environment.
Previous studies have identified various factors that contribute to spatial
presence, including those associated with the users. Spatial ability, which
is an individual’s ability to produce vivid spatial images in his/her mind,
has been suggested as an important factor influencing spatial presence.
For example, when presented with a blueprint of a building, individuals
with higher spatial ability will be able to imagine the structure of the
building easily. Wirth et al. (2007) argue that spatial ability may
contribute to the formation of spatial representation of the mediated
environment in VR experiences. That is, users with higher spatial visual
imagery may find it easier to imagine the VR environment and fill in
missing spatial information from their memory (Wirth et al., 2007).
Therefore, it can be suggested that users’ spatial ability contributes to the
feeling of presence in the VR environment.
H1: Spatial Ability has a positive effect on sense of Presence during the
VR experience.
Another important user factor contributing to presence is (user-
controlled) attention during the VR experience. In order for users to
interact with VR environments, they must allocate sufficient attentional
resources to objects and events within the VR environments (Bystrom,
Barfield, & Hendrix, 1999; Draper, Kaber, & Usher, 1998). Wirth et al.
(2007) suggest that only those who pay attention to the VR environment
will experience spatial presence. That is, a greater allocation of
attentional resources to the VR environment will bring about a higher
sense of presence (Bystrom, Barfield, & Hendrix, 1999; Weibel et al.,
2015); distractions to users’ attention to the VR environments will
diminish the feeling of presence (Draper, Kaber, & Usher, 1998).
H2: Attention Allocation has a positive effect on sense of Presence
during VR experience.
Research has shown that sense of presence in the VR environment has
positive consequences on user behaviour. Indeed, the key propositions
and findings in VR research suggest that an enhanced sense of reality
with VR generates positive effects on attitude, belief, and intention (Kim
& Biocca, 1997; Suh & Lee, 2005). For example, Klein (2003) identified
that (tele)presence positively influences consumer attitude towards
products advertised in computer-mediated environments. In the context
of tourism, Hyun and O’Keefe (2012) found that (tele)presence via web-
mediated information directly leads to positive virtual destination image.
Therefore, it can be suggested that a higher sense of presence in the VR
environment will result in positive attitude toward tourism destinations.
H3: Sense of Presence during the VR experience has a positive effect
on Post VR Attitude Change toward destination.
Literature has also explored the role of media affordance in facilitating
presence and its consequences. Wirth et al. (2007) suggest that users
respond to highly immersive technology with strong feelings of spatial
presence. VR environments that synchronously stimulate several sensory
channels (e.g., visual, auditory, haptic) are more likely to cause users to
feel that they are in the mediated environment (Wirth et al., 2007). For
example, Ruddle, Payne, and Jones (1999) identified differences
between users navigating VR environments using helmet-mounted
displays and those using desktop displays, in that the more natural
interaction with the helmet-mounted display results in more accurate
space orientation. Therefore, it can be suggested that different immersive
capabilities of VR devices (e.g., head-mounted Samsung Gear VR vs.
hand-held Google Cardboard) and the stimuli they presented (e.g., street
view vs. realistic video), which influence the nature of user interaction,
will result in different degrees of presence and, in turn, attitude change
toward destinations.
H4: The sense of Presence during the VR experience will vary
according to different types of VR stimuli.
H5: The degree of Post VR Attitude Change will vary according to
different types of VR stimuli.
Users’ prior experience with tourism destinations (i.e., prior visitation)
plays a role in VR experience of the destinations. Memory of first-hand
experiences with the actual environment (i.e., prior knowledge of the
space) can serve as a reference in perceiving the mental representation
of the VR environment, which will influence the sense of spatial
presence during the VR experience. Therefore, it is expected that the
sense of presence and, consequently, attitude change toward tourism
destination after VR experience will vary between users who have visited
the destination and those who have not.
H6: The sense of Presence during the VR experience will vary
according to Prior Visitation to destination.
H7: The degree of Post VR Attitude Change will vary according to
Prior Visitation to destination.
3 Method
A questionnaire was developed to test the hypothesized relationships
between Spatial Ability, Attention Allocation, Spatial Presence, and post
VR Attitude Change. In order to measure Spatial Presence, presence
scales from SUS questionnaire (Slater, Usoh, & Steed, 1994),
telepresence (Kim & Biocca, 1997), and MEC Spatial Presence
Questionnaire (MEC-SPQ; Vorderer et al., 2004) were included (a total
of 22 items). Spatial Ability (four items) and Attention Allocation (four
items) were measured using MEC-SPQ (Vorderer et al., 2004). These
were measured using a 5-point Likert-type scale with Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree anchored statements. The scale for Post VR Attitude
Change targeted perceived changes in liking, preference, and interest in
the destination (from 1 – “Much Weaker” to 5 – “Much Stronger”).
Recent studies have found that the younger the customers, the more
likely they are to be interested in VR (eMarketer, 2015; Global Web
Index, 2016). To represent the group of customers who are highly likely
to experience and be influenced by VR, undergraduate and graduate
students were invited to participate in the study. In order to ground this
research in the context of personal use of VR, existing VR applications
and personal VR devices were used. Participants with Apple iOS
smartphones were asked to download the Cardboard app and use Google
Cardboard VR viewer to visit Tokyo, Japan (i.e., street view stimuli).
Others were asked to use Samsung Gear VR (with a Samsung
smartphone) to experience Porto, Portugal (i.e., video stimuli). After the
VR experience, all participants were asked to complete the questionnaire
online. In order to test the hypotheses, data were analysed using factor
analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA).
4 Findings
A total of 202 participants completed the questionnaire. The majority of
participants are between the ages of 18 and 24 (97%), female (80%), and
have a 4-Year University Degree (76%). Most participants (N = 136;
67%) used Google Cardboard, and most had never visited the destination
portrayed in the VR experience (N = 144; 71%).
Dimensions of Presence. Factor analysis was performed to identify the
dimensions of presence during the VR experience. As presented in Table
1, two dimensions were identified, each with four items, explaining 80%
of variance in the data. These factors were labelled as Departure and Self-
Location. The factor loadings of all items are higher than .80. Cronbach’s
alpha values for both factors are higher than .90, indicating internal
consistency of the factors. The first factor, Departure, reflects the state
of mind of respondents during the VR experience, whereby the sense of
being in the VR environment was stronger than being in the actual
environment. This is consistent with the concept of spatial presence as
“being there” (i.e., destination) as opposed to “being here (i.e.,
experiment room) (Kim & Biocca, 1997; Slater, Usoh, & Steed, 1994).
Self-Location represents the sensing of presence and actions of self in
the VR environment, which is consistent with MEC-SPQ’s (Vorderer et
al., 2004) self-location scale. None of the items representing Locality
(Slater, Usoh, & Steed, 1994) or Possible Actions (Vorderer et al., 2004)
emerged as meaningful factors; items were eliminated due to cross-
loadings or low factor loadings.
Table 1. Dimensions of Presence
Presence
Factor
Loading
Eigen-
value
Cum.
%
Alpha
Factor 1: Departure
3.260
40.752
.922
During the VR experience, the sense of being in
VR environment was stronger than being
elsewhere.
.894
During the VR experience, there were times when I
felt I was actually there.
.831
During the VR experience, I felt the sense of being
there.
.830
During the VR experience, I often thought to
myself that I was actually there.
.827
Factor 2: Self-Location
3.172
80.403
.912
It seemed as though I actually took part in the
action (sightseeing).
.860
I felt like I was actually in the VR environment.
.855
I felt as though I was physically present in the VR
environment.
.821
It was as though my location had shifted into the
VR environment.
.800
Factors Influencing Presence. Two-way, between-subjects ANOVAs
were performed to assess the effects of Attention Allocation and Spatial
Ability (as covariates), as well as Types of VR Stimuli (i.e., Google
Cardboard/Tokyo vs. Samsung Gear VR/Porto), Prior Visitation (visited
vs. never visited), and interaction between Types of VR Stimuli and Prior
Visitation on Departure and Self-Location. As illustrated in Table 2, the
results revealed the significant influence of Attention Allocation on
Departure (Effect Size = .288, p = .000; R2 = .319). However, the other
factors were not significant. It can be suggested that the higher the level
of attention devoted to the VR experience, the greater the extent of
perceived departure from the physical environment. Fig. 1 illustrates the
estimated marginal means of Departure with different Types of VR
Stimuli and Prior Visitation. Even though there are mean differences
between these groups (i.e., respondents using Samsung Gear VR
reporting higher presence, especially among those who had never visited
the destination), these differences are not statistically significant.
Table 2. Between-Subjects Effects on Departure
Type III
Sum of
Squares
df Mean
Square F Sig. Effect
Size
62.951
5
12.590
18.199
.000
.319
1.677
1
1.677
2.245
.121
.012
54.273
1
54.273
78.450
.000
.288
1.310
1
1.310
1.894
.170
.010
.951
1
.951
1.374
.243
.007
.000
1
.000
.982
.982
.000
.106
1
.106
.154
.695
.001
134.211
194
464
2078.563
200
156.090
199
Fig. 1. Estimated Marginal Means of Departure
Note: Covariates are evaluated at: Attention Allocation = 3.575, Spatial Ability = 3.243
Table 3 presents the results of a two-way, between-subjects ANOVA to
identify the effects of Attention Allocation, Spatial Ability, Types of VR
Stimuli, and Prior Visitation on Self-Location. The results revealed the
significant influences of Attention Allocation on Self-Location (Effect
Size = .410, p = .000; R2 = .423). However, the other factors were not
significant. Similar to the other dimension of presence, it can be
suggested that when respondents are focusing their attention during the
VR experience, they are more likely to feel a stronger sense of locating
the self in the VR environment. Fig. 2 illustrates the estimated marginal
means of Self-Location with different Types of VR Stimuli and Prior
Visitation. It can be observed that among those who had never visited
the destination, the use of Samsung Gear VR yielded higher level of
2.9104
3.3125
3.0053 3.2082
2.6
2.8
3
3.2
3.4
GOOGLE CARDBOARD SAMSUNG GEAR VR
Never Visited
Visited
perceived self-location. However, the mean difference is not statistically
significant.
Table 3. Between-Subjects Effects on Self-Location
Type III
Sum of
Squares
df Mean
Square F Sig. Effect
Size
66.023
5
13.205
28.442
.000
.423
2.560
1
2.560
5.515
.020
.028
62.575
1
62.575
134.783
.000
.410
.642
1
.642
1.382
.241
.007
.055
1
.055
.008
.731
.001
.294
1
.294
.633
.427
.003
.045
1
.045
.097
.756
.000
90.067
194
464
2351.174
200
156.090
199
Fig. 2. Estimated Marginal Means of Self-Location
Note: Covariates are evaluated at: Attention Allocation = 3.575, Spatial Ability = 3.243
Presence Influence on Attitude Change. A two-way, between-subjects
ANOVA was also performed to test the influence of Departure and Self-
Location on post-VR Attitude Change toward a destination. The effects
of Types of VR Stimuli and Prior Visitation were also estimated (see
Table 4). Significant influences of Departure (Effect Size = .022, p =
.035) and Self-Location (Effect Size = .039, p = .006) were identified
(R2 = .184), even though the effect sizes are small. Other factors are not
significant. It can be suggested that spatial presence contributes to
positive attitude change toward tourism destinations. Fig. 3 presents the
estimated marginal means of Attitude Change with different Types of
VR Stimuli and Prior Visitation. It can be observed that among those
who have visited the destination, post VR attitude change was more
3.2985
3.4363
3.1965 3.2036
3
3.2
3.4
3.6
GOOGLE CARDBOARD SAMSUNG GEAR VR
Never Visited
Visited
prominent in those using Samsung Gear VR, especially among those
who had visited the destinations.
Table 4. Between-Subjects Effects on Post-VR Attitude Change
Type III
Sum of
Squares
df Mean
Square F Sig. Effect
Size
11.675
5
2.335
8.815
.000
.184
79.628
1
79.628
300.611
.000
.605
1.190
1
1.190
4.492
.035
.022
2.079
1
2.079
7.850
.006
.039
.651
1
.651
2.456
.119
.012
.009
1
.009
.034
.853
.000
.166
1
.166
.627
.429
.003
51.918
196
265
2606.222
202
63.593
201
Fig. 3. Estimated Marginal Means of Post-VR Attitude Change
Note: Covariates are evaluated at: Departure = 3.063, Self-Location = 3.313
5 Conclusion
The technological drive for VR experiences, characterised by the
development of VR platforms and devices for convenient personal use,
indicates great potential for widespread consumption of VR tourism
content. Destination marketers and managers are faced with challenges
in making strategic investment decisions to leverage VR technology to
influence consumers’ travel decisions. This development also presents
research challenges to better understand the effectiveness of VR in
shaping consumer attitudes toward tourism destinations. In order to
answer these challenges, this study investigates spatial presence in the
VR experience involving virtual walkthrough of actual tourism
destinations using personal devices (smartphones and VR viewers). It
3.5314 3.6549
3.4352
3.8101
3.2
3.4
3.6
3.8
4
GOOGLE CARDBOARD SAMSUNG GEAR VR
Never Visited
Visited
was found that the sense of being there (i.e., spatial presence) was
significantly influenced by attention allocation (H2 was supported); the
more the users allocated attentional resources to the VR environment
during the experience, the higher the degree of spatial presence
(consistent with Bystrom, Barfield, & Hendrix, 1999; Draper, Kaber, &
Usher, 1998; Wirth et al., 2007). This indicates that in order for VR users
to achieve higher spatial presence, regardless of their spatial ability, it is
imperative to eliminate any distractions that would prevent users from
allocating sufficient attention to objects or events in the VR environment.
These distractions can originate from the content (e.g., disappearing
objects as users move forward), user experience (e.g., hovering buttons
in a supposedly natural environment), or the devices used (e.g., seeing
the floor during a virtual walkthrough).
Importantly, it was identified that spatial presence contributes positively
to attitude change toward destinations (H3 was supported); a higher
sense of spatial presence leads to stronger interest and liking toward the
destinations. This confirms the effectiveness of the VR experience for
marketing. While there are differences in terms of spatial presence and
attitude change across different devices (Samsung Gear VR yielding
higher degree of spatial presence and attitude change), the differences
are not statistically significant. This indicates that the use of low cost,
less sophisticated devices such as Google Cardboard still results in
comparable experiences and responses to more sophisticated ones.
However, this could also result from statistical representativeness issue
due to the small number of Samsung Gear VR users who had visited the
destination before.
This study contributes to a better understanding of spatial presence, its
determinants, and its consequences on user attitudes in experiences
involving depictions of real tourism destinations. This study provides
empirical support to literature suggesting the potential role of VR in
tourism marketing and management. Importantly, it provides theoretical
explanation for the effectiveness of VR in influencing users’ response to
marketing stimuli, which is helpful for destination marketers justifying
investment in VR. However, the results of this study are limited by the
characteristics of the participants, a group dominated by young, female
consumers. Future research should include a wider range of participants
and devices/stimuli to test the generalizability of the findings.
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Acknowledgement
Authors received financial support from the School of Hotel & Tourism
Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Grant #1-ZVH2).
... The development of XR began with VR and AR, with 19 and two publications on VR and AR, respectively (Moro et al., 2019). Previous studies on XR primarily focused on smart glasses and head-mounted devices ( Disztinger et al., 2017;Tussyadiah et al., 2017;Tussyadiah et al., 2018a), 360°video (Barrado-Tim on and Hidalgo-Giralt, 2019), smartphones (Yovcheva et al., 2012) and haptic and audio technology (Wei et al., 2014). These technologies use human senses such as vision (HMD, 360°videos), touch (haptic gloves, mid-air haptics), hearing (headsets), taste (electronic tongue) and smell (olfactory and diffuser technology, electronic nose). ...
... One of the advantages of this technology is its "sense of presence" in the tourism context (Tussyadiah et al., 2018b). This enhances the user's inclination toward future visits (Tussyadiah et al., 2017). Furthermore, using VR in tourism brings JHTT enjoyment (Wagler and Hanus, 2018) and increases behavioral intention to visit the destination (Kim et al., 2020a). ...
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Purpose The use of extended reality (XR) to create memorable experiences has attracted considerable attention, especially in tourism. Multisensory XR offers a new way of virtually previewing a destination before physical holidays. This study aims to explore how multisensory XR can be used at each stage of the tourism experience journey. This study established a model for how destination-image formation is affected by multisensory XR in each phase of tourism experience. Design/methodology/approach The authors followed the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines to review studies published between 2013 and 2020, gathered from four research databases. The authors identified the predominant XR technology and sensory stimuli based on the characteristics of various tourism domains. The authors synthesized the previous studies to explain destination-image formation by using multisensory XR. Findings This study summarized the XR study distribution among the three stages of the tourism experience journey. The authors identified the predominant sensory stimuli and dominant XR application and developed a destination-image formation model by using multisensory XR. Originality/value This study highlights the holistic approach of multisensory XR in the tourism experience journey in relation to various tourism domains. It also contributes to destination-image formation in the virtual environment by providing multisensory experiences of predominant sensory stimuli at each stage.
... Regarding digital products, an increase in attitude favorability has been related to an increase in presence, which is the sensation of being truly present in the virtual reality environment [31]. Presence can be related to the experience of the physical world, occurring when the person has the subjective perception of being in a certain environment, even when they are not physically there, increasing the probability of experiencing the sensation of being truly present in the virtual reality environment. ...
... Thus, an increase in presence can lead to a perception of a non-mediated interaction, leading users to forget that they are using a digital device [32][33][34]. For example, Tussyadiah and colleagues [31,35] asked participants from Hong Kong and the UK to engage in a virtual walkthrough of Tokyo (Japan), Porto (Portugal), or the UK (a national park) using virtual goggles attached to their smartphones. After ten minutes, they expressed their sense of presence, attitudes, and intention to visit the places using a questionnaire. ...
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(1) Background: Several opportunities have appeared for the dissemination of culture and heritage thanks in part to the widespread use of information and communications technologies. Virtual museums have appeared as innovative technological products but often lack an evaluation of the impact that they have and their success in achieving their purpose. In this sense, this work seeks to evaluate the impact of a virtual museum on users’ attitudes toward cultural heritage. (2) Methods: We used a factorial design of 2 (direction of thoughts: positive vs. negative) × 2 (presence level: high vs. low) × 2 (virtual museum vs. interactive website). (3) Results: Attitudes toward heritage can change as a function of a multimedia experience, thought favorability, and presence. In a virtual museum, when general attitudes are evaluated, a sense of high psychological presence reduces the effect that thoughts (especially when negative) have on attitudes. However, in the case of visiting an interactive website, the effect of the direction of thoughts on attitudes occurred regardless of conditions of high or low presence. Similar tendencies are observed for specific attitudinal objects. (4) Conclusion: A virtual museum can have different effects depending on the interaction of important variables from the virtual reality literature and not only the classic main effects. Recommendations for interventions and future practical and theoretical work are presented.
... This aspiration is to some extent related to travel motives, such as the urge to be temporarily able to leave one's familiar surroundings [7]. In this regard, virtual tours of destinations are becoming an increasingly popular approach for tourism marketing [3] and alter how tourism services and products are promoted and consumed [8]. The number of organizations that incorporate VR activities in their marketing is growing, although the implementation of VR is still nascent [6,9]. ...
... This inspires other people during their pre-trip inspiration phase [4]. It is said that VR has a stronger influence on the desire to visit a destination as other promotional materials [23], which contradicts Tussyadiah et al. [8] who emphasize that fully immersive VR experiences are less powerful than traditional travel guides. ...
Chapter
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The rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the high level of consumer acceptance have made it increasingly complex to retain loyal customers. Virtual Reality (VR) has become a solution that allows tourism providers to design technology-enhanced experiences along the entire customer journey. While most VR offers focus on pre-travel experiences, the potential of VR in the post-travel phase is still little explored. Considering that multisensory tourism experiences contribute to memory formation, the multisensory extension of VR (4D VR) in post-travel experiences is of interest. Thus, through a quantitative field experiment, this study aims to detect what effect the stimulation of different senses during the use of VR has on the overall experience and how this influences the brand relationship quality. The results revealed elevated levels of technology acceptance, which consequently enhances the traveler’s overall VR experience. The multisensory component positively affects one realm of an experience in the area of escapism and thus correlates with the overall experience. However, there is no significant difference between 3D and 4D regarding the level of brand relationship quality. The study expands the literature on 4D VR experiences and supports tourism practitioners in the implementation to strengthen the relationship between a destination and its guests.
... Loureiro et al., 2021). They have been found to positively affect a number of consumerrelated strategically relevant outcomes, such as attitudes toward the medium as well as to the depicted product (Choi and Taylor, 2014;Van Kerrebroeck et al., 2017a); product knowledge (Suh and Chang, 2006); product likability (Verhagen et al., 2014); brand experience (Brakus et al., 2009); brand personality perceptions (De Gauquier et al., 2019); enjoyment (Nah et al., 2011); feelings of relaxation (Serrano et al., 2013); impulse buying (Vonkeman et al., 2017) purchase intentions (Tussyadiah et al., 2017) and mall attitude, satisfaction and loyalty intentions (Van Kerrebroeck et al., 2017b). ...
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Despite the power of VR in immersing viewers in an experience, it generally only targets viewers via visual and auditory cues. Human beings use more senses to gather information, so expectedly, the full potential of this medium is currently not yet tapped. This study contributes in answering two research questions: (1) How can conventional VR ads be enriched by also addressing the forgotten sense of smell?; and (2) Does doing so indeed instill more engaging experiences? A 2 × 3 between-subjects study (n = 235) is conducted, whereby an existing branded VR commercial (Boursin Sensorium Experience) is augmented with “sound” (on/off) and (congruent/incongruent/no) “scents.” The power of these sensory augmentations is evaluated by inspecting emotional, cognitive and conative dimensions of customer engagement. The results identify product-scent congruence (with sound) as a deal-maker, albeit product-scent incongruence is not necessarily a deal-breaker. The article concludes with further research avenues and a translation into managerial implications.
Conference Paper
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This study aims to present a perception of the various applications of artificial intelligence, which is considered one of the most important outputs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as a basic entry point for the advancement and promotion of the tourism service to reach a modern and viable tourism service that is able to survive and compete in this highly competitive sector. We also tried to present the difficulties it faces. Artificial intelligence in the tourism sector. Through this research paper, we concluded the necessity for the tourism sector to adopt and activate artificial intelligence techniques to ensure the provision of tourism services that fit modern global trends
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Modern yaşam ve gelişen teknoloji futuristik romanların hayal ürünü olan yeni bir kavramı/olguyu –metaverse- hayatımızın yeni bir gerçekliği haline getirmek üzeredir. İlerleyen zamanlarda bu ve benzeri teknolojik platform ve uygulamaların günlük yaşantımızın bir parçası haline gelebileceği öngörülmektedir. Bu çalışmanın temel amacı, turizm alanındaki öğretim elemanlarının metaverse kavramına ilişkin değerlendirmelerini tespit etmektir. Bu kapsamda, Türkiye’deki farklı üniversitelerin turizm ile ilgili bölümlerinde görev yapan öğretim elemanlarına yarı yapılandırılmış görüşme formu ile anket uygulanmıştır. Farklı üniversitelerin turizm ile ilgili bölümlerinde görev yapan toplam 82 öğretim elemanından veriler toplanmıştır. Elde edilen veriler, MAXQDA programı aracılığı ile analiz edilmiştir. Analiz sonuçlarına göre, turizm alanında görev yapan öğretim elemanları metaverse kavramına ilişkin sanal evren, sanal gerçeklik, artırılmış gerçeklik ve sanal ortam kavramlarını ön plana çıkarmıştır. Bununla birlikte öğretim elemanlarına göre metaverse; pazarlama etkinliği, turistlere ekonomik kolaylık, tanıtım kolaylığı gibi fırsatlar sunabileceğini, istihdam sorunu, turizm gelirlerinde azalma, işletmelerin çağa ayak uyduramaması ve güvenlik açığı gibi tehditler oluşturabileceğini dile getirmişlerdir.
Article
Resumo | A Realidade Virtual (RV) pode influenciar a perceção dos utilizadores sobre um determinado local, através de experiências em ambientes imersivos. No contexto do turismo, a utilização desta tecnologia revela-se determinante na promoção de produtos e destinos, por melhorar a perceção do conteúdo turístico e gerar informações impactantes. Contudo, é difícil encontrar análises abrangentes a estudos sobre a RV no turismo. Para ultrapassar tal limitação, este estudo trata-se de uma pesquisa documental, descritiva e retrospetiva, que combina técnicas de análise bibliométrica a 37 artigos das bases de dados Web of Science e Scopus, entre 1999 e 2020. Pretendeu-se fornecer uma visão geral sobre a produção científica no setor turístico associada à RV, identificar influências empíricas da estrutura conceitual e sugerir novos caminhos. Os resultados permitem-nos concluir que é pouco frequente o recurso à RV para fins promocionais no turismo. Constatou-se, que os estudos mais recorrentes, apresentam propostas de softwares para RV e revisões sobre conceitos tecnológicos, marketing e imagem do destino. Revelam-se poucas evidências empíricas sobre as implicações e aplicações da RV. Considerou-se portanto, imperativo mais investigações que explorem a aplicabilidade da RV na promoção turística.
Chapter
The tourism and hospitality industry is one of the sectors that have witnessed more remarkable changes brought by technology. Technology is paramount that contributed a lot towards the success of this industry around the world. However, even though the adoption of technology in the tourism sector is outraging, the infestation of the world Pandemic Coronavirus has made the industry even more dependable on technology. The movement restriction and the concern of being infected change how people look at travelling. Exploring the world from the comfort of their own home is the fundamental concept of virtual reality travel that is currently seeing a surge in popularity. These virtual reality travel experiences aim to create a feeling that is as much like being in the actual destination possible. These are made possible with the advancement of technology. Although virtual travel may never replace traditional travel, just as travel platforms, from print to social media, the evolution and application of new technology, virtual travel potentially become as popular as actual travel exploration. This chapter elucidates the virtual tourism experience and explores how far the virtual experience helps ramps up tourism in Malaysia. It also discusses the intriguing possibilities around virtual travel experience, collected from the involvement of the participants of the MyVirtual Experience Program.
Chapter
Smart technologies are becoming rapidly used in various industries successfully. The tourism industry stands as one of the evolving industries, benefiting from these smart technological developments such as virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and internet of things. Anticipatory, experiential, and reflective are the three main phases of the consumer behavior process in tourism, which are regarded as pre-travel, during travel, and post-travel phases in tourism. Smart tourism technologies are being implemented to enhance the tourist experience in these phases of their journey. This chapter aims to highlight the smart tourism technology applications in every phase of consumer experience by presenting examples from the tourism industry.
Article
Purpose This study aims to investigate the effect of virtual reality (VR) as a communication tool for advertising on tourism destination image and the changes in destination attitude, clarifying how flow experience affects destination image, and examining how destination image mediates the effect of flow experience on attitude changes. Design/methodology/approach A survey was administered to collect data from 342 study participants who watched a tourism destination marketing video through HTC VR vive gear. A research model tested data collected from participants using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling by using partial least squares structural equation modeling software. Findings The results found that two factors (friendliness and telepresence) of flow experience in VR can positively affect destination image. Destination image has a significant indirect effect on how flow experience influences attitude change. Originality/value As tourism destinations are faced with strategic decisions about investment in different VR platforms or some other technologies, understanding how individuals respond to various VR stimuli is of practical importance. Therefore, this study’s findings provide valuable information for tourism industry practitioners.
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The aim of the present study was to develop a pictorial presence scale using self-assessment-manikins (SAM). The instrument assesses presence sub-dimensions (self-location and possible actions) as well as presence determinants (attention allocation, spatial situation model, higher cognitive involvement, and suspension of disbelief). To qualitatively validate the scale, think-aloud protocols and interviews (n = 12) were conducted. The results reveal that the SAM items are quickly filled out as well as easily, intuitively, and unambiguously understood. Furthermore, the instrument's validity and sensitivity was quantitatively examined in a two-factorial design (n = 317). Factors were medium (written story, audio book, video, and computer game) and distraction (non-distraction vs. distraction). Factor analyses reveal that the SAM presence dimensions and determinants closely correspond to those of the MEC Spatial Presence Questionnaire, which was used as a comparison measure. The findings of the qualitative and quantitative validation procedures show that the Pictorial Presence SAM successfully assesses spatial presence. In contrast to the verbal questionnaire data (MEC), the significant distraction–effect suggests that the new scale is even more sensitive. This points out that the scale can be a useful alternative to existing verbal presence self-report measures.
Article
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This study investigates how the sense of embodiment in virtual environments can be enhanced by multisensory feedback related to body movements. In particular, we analyze the effect of combined vestibular and proprioceptive afferent signals on the perceived embodiment within an immersive walking scenario. These feedback signals were applied by means of a motion platform and by tendon vibration of lower limbs, evoking illusory leg movements. Vestibular and proprioceptive feedback were provided congruently with a rich virtual scenario reconstructing a real city, rendered on a head-mounted display (HMD). The sense of embodiment was evaluated through both self-reported questionnaires and physiological measurements in two experimental conditions: with all active sensory feedback (highly embodied condition), and with visual feedback only. Participants' self-reports show that the addition of both vestibular and proprioceptive feedback increases the sense of embodiment and the individual's feeling of presence associated with the walking experience. Furthermore, the embodiment condition significantly increased the measured galvanic skin response and respiration rate. The obtained results suggest that vestibular and proprioceptive feedback can improve the participant's sense of embodiment in the virtual experience.
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Telepresence is a concept originally developed in virtual reality research. Telepresence is the feeling of being there. This paper describes how researchers can use telepresence to expand previous models of destination image formation, producing an initial model of virtual destination image formation (VDIF). The findings of this study confirm previous fundamental models of the formation of destination image. The study also suggests that, whereas previous research shows that travel information directly influences the formation of image without a mediator, telepresence can act as a mediator in online environments. The study shows that the presence of varied Web-mediated information can act as a positive influence on telepresence, and indirectly lead to a positive virtual destination image. The study was done in collaboration with Tourism Tasmania, and data from 328 respondents was used to validate the model of VDIF. The paper presents contributions to researchers as well as practical advice for developers of destination marketing websites.
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In order to bridge interdisciplinary differences in Presence research and to establish connections between Presence and “older” concepts of psychology and communication, a theoretical model of the formation of Spatial Presence is proposed. It is applicable to the exposure to different media and intended to unify the existing efforts to develop a theory of Presence. The model includes assumptions about attention allocation, mental models, and involvement, and considers the role of media factors and user characteristics as well, thus incorporating much previous work. It is argued that a commonly accepted model of Spatial Presence is the only solution to secure further progress within the international, interdisciplinary and multiple-paradigm community of Presence research.
Article
The proliferation of the Internet and other technological innovations has transformed the structure of the tourism industry as well as affected how tourism destinations are perceived and consumed. The 3D virtual world provides opportunities for destination marketing organizations to communicate with targeted markets by offering a rich environment for potential visitors to explore tourism destinations. However, as of yet, there is little understanding about how to effectively market tourism destinations to virtual world participants who are technology users as well as potential consumers. The purpose of the present study is to develop a research framework that integrates the technology acceptance model (TAM) and self-determination theory to understand how tourists use a 3D virtual world. Primary data were obtained for this study through self-administered Web questionnaires. The data were conducted in a laboratory setting with 186 participants. This study contributes to the empirical TAM literature by applying the model to a 3D virtual tourism site. Additionally, this study provides a research framework to capture the entertainment nature of a 3D virtual world by extending the TAM to incorporate psychological elements of self-determination theory to understand consumer experience. From the perspective of tourism professionals, this study contributes to an understanding of how best to construct informative and interactive tourist destinations in 3D virtual worlds to attract potential online and real-world tourists. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Purpose – Experiential marketing is arguably marketing's most contemporary orientation, but as with many marketing innovations it has been largely overlooked by those involved in tourism and hospitality marketing and promotion. Whilst in many industries companies have moved away from traditional features and benefits approaches, to putting experiential marketing centre‐stage, marketing in the tourism and hospitality sectors does not appear to have explicitly engaged the theoretical issues involved. This raises the question what, if anything, does experiential marketing have to offer marketers in the disciplines of tourism and hospitality? In this paper, I will seek to introduce the experiential marketing debate and demonstrate how the questions raised by the concept are critical to an understanding of marketing theory and research within the tourism and hospitality sectors. Design/methodology/approach – Following the authors previous publications which sought to investigate alternative paradigms for studying hospitality consumers, this research attempts to consider the practical applications of one such model. Findings – The tourism and hospitality sectors cannot be seen to be immune to fundamental changes in the orientation of marketing. Innovative experience design will become an increasingly important component of tourism and hospitality firms core capabilities. Those who go beyond service excellence, and market experientially will lead the creation of value in the sector. Originality/value – Provides a framework as to how organisations might usefully implement an experiential marketing strategy.
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As national and international tourism continues to develop, new forms of tourism - especially ecotourism - are emerging. Through its development, tourism has progressively lost its sense of authenticity in an effort to gain volume, a phenomenon that, in return, has triggered the emergence of new, sustainable forms of tourism. These recent developments only reflect a more insistent and contemporary expression of a concern as old as tourism itself. Although applied unevenly, a basic principle of tourism has been not to compromise development for an illconsidered exploitation of the resources on which tourism is dependent. However, it has to be noted that frequently ecotourism tends to become a kind of mass ecotourism, which leads to a dead end and encourages some authors to further challenge the value of tourism itself. This radical attitude is unacceptable for economic and social reasons. At the same time, virtual reality is becoming more important in the world of tourism (or perhaps 'cybertourism'), both as a tool for tourism promotion and as a tourist destination itself (e.g., computer-generated amusements in leisure parks and virtual theme parks). Virtual reality seems to promote tourism, rather than discourage it. It also contributes to making the relations between individuals and tourist space more complex. One can expect that virtual tourism will improve over time and will satisfy some of the tourists' demands for travel experiences. It could be asked, therefore, whether a combination of virtual reality and reality could give mass tourism greater sustainability. But this can also lead to a dual tourism, leaving the 'rich' with reality - ever more costly in terms of time and money, but also more gratifying - and the 'poor' with an easily accessible and reproducible virtual reality, but which does not provide a full sense of place. It is likely that the tourist experience will increasingly become a mixture of reality and virtual reality, thereby more appropriately satisfying the demands of sustainability.
Article
Given that direct product experience is generally the optimal method for consumers to learn about products, marketers should strive for verisimilitude in marketing communications. This research explores how computer-mediated environments can engender virtual product experiences. The construct of telepresence, a sense of presence in a remote environment, is used to examine the process by which media characteristics influence consumer responses. Through two experimental studies, we evaluate the effect of two media characteristics—user control and media richness—on the creation of telepresence and assess the impact of telepresence on consumer beliefs about and attitudes toward the advertised product. Results show that user control and media richness both contribute to creating a sense of telepresence. Moreover, through telepresence, these media characteristics influence consumers' cognitive responses. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, Inc.