Immersive Virtual Reality Experiences: Boosting Potential Visitor Engagement and Attractiveness of Natural World Heritage Sites

Tareq Rasul, Weng Marc Lim, Peter O'Connor, Ashfaq Ahmad, Kashif Farhat , Fernando De Oliveira Santini, Wagner Junior Ladeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tourism destinations. in particular natural world heritage sites, can have multiple orientations, namely cognitive (learning), affective (hedonism), and sustainability (nature). This study seeks to investigate how tourists can be attracted to visit such destinations using virtual reality (VR). Using the Sundarbans mangrove forest (Bangladesh) as a case study, and adopting customer engagement and TAM as underlying theories, we apply structural equation modeling to data collected from 316 subjects who had participated in a VR experience to investigate how ease of use, perceived usefulness, and enjoyment of VR experiences affect intention to visit a tourism destination In doing so, we reveal that, in the context of VR tourist experiences, psychological engagement serves as a mediating factor, whereas behavioral engagement does not, in explaining intention to visit. Our study concludes by assessing the implications of the findings for theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Customer Engagement
  • Natural World Heritage Site
  • Technology Acceptance
  • Tourism Destination
  • Tourism Site Orientation
  • Visit Intention

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