Examining tourism consumers' attitudes and the role of sensory information in virtual reality experiences of a tourist destination

Mansour Alyahya, Graeme McLean

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Abstract

The purpose of this research is twofold: firstly, we aim to understand the role of virtual reality (VR) in influencing tourism consumers’ attitudes toward a tourist destination and, secondly, understand the influence of different levels of sensory information presented through VR experiences on the development of mental imagery, attitudes toward the destination, and visit intention. We tackle this through a multistudy experimental approach. First, in study 1, we demonstrate that VR plays a positive role in enhancing previously held consumer attitudes toward a tourist destination. Second, we affirm that VR has a greater positive effect on attitudes toward a destination in comparison to a less immersive technology (i.e., website). Third, in study 2, we find that different levels of sensory information in VR experiences result in significant differences with regard to the developed mental imagery, sense of presence in the experience, attitudes toward the destination and visit intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Early online date2 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • virtual reality tourism
  • VR
  • mental imagery
  • sense of presence
  • immersive tourism VR
  • destination previews

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