Informations and abstract
Keywords: Tourism, tourism marketing, virtual reality, mixed reality, immersion, positive emotions, privacy concern, perceived usefulness, new technologies.
New technologies based on virtual reality (Vr) may combine the digital world with the real one, representing an unprecedented opportunity. Virtual reality integrated along the paths of use of the tourist experience may create a sort of «mixed» reality by catapulting individuals into worlds halfway between the real and the digital. However, despite the potentiality of such applications, the effects on consumers are still hazy and poorly investigated. This research aims to shed light on the perception of individuals concerning these new experiences, and specifically regarding the integration of virtual reality in the use of cultural tourism experiences, as in the case of historical sites. Through an exploratory research design, qualitative research has been conducted on a sample of 43 Italian respondents exposed to a stimulus (video) regarding a tourism experience scenario related to two historical sites in which Vr has been integrated. Findings confirm the innovative reach of Vr technologies, specifically by shedding light on the potential effects on individuals’ perceived enrichment of the tourism experience due to the potential effect of four interesting variables to be investigated in the attempt to favor consumers’ intention to use in terms of 1) greater immersion in the activities experienced due to high psychological flow; 2) potential effect on the positive emotions experienced; 3) reduced perceived privacy concern; and 4) increased perceived usefulness of new technologies in the tourism.