Augmented Reality for Smart Tourism in Religious Heritage Itineraries: Tourism Experiences in the Technological Age

Augmented Reality for Smart Tourism in Religious Heritage Itineraries: Tourism Experiences in the Technological Age

Célia M.Q. Ramos (University of Algarve, Portugal), Cláudia Henriques (University of Algarve, Portugal) and Robert Lanquar (La Rochelle Business School, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0435-1.ch010
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Abstract

Pilgrimages and travel for other religious reasons are two of the major drivers of human mobility. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can contribute to sharing knowledge about religious heritage with tourists, residents, and religious communities. ICT innovations that help individuals find information and acquire knowledge about cultural heritage can bring new experiences and sensations to tourists and residents, in general, and to those who have accessibility problems, in particular. These innovations include augmented reality, location-based services, social networks, gamification, and intelligent interfaces. This paper focuses on religious and spiritual routes and itineraries, presenting a religious tourism experience model that allows tourists to acquire additional knowledge about cultural and religious heritage, based on technological architecture using intelligent human-computer interactions displayed on personal mobile devices. This approach expands personal and spiritual experiences when travelers visit religious heritage sites associated with itineraries.
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Tourism And Tourism Experiences In The Technological Age

The rise of the economy of experiences (Pine & Gilmore, 1999, 2011) has led to the definition of the concept of “tourist experience,” which combines tourists’ actions with a set of memories and emotions related to the places visited (Noy, 2007). These are influenced by the tourists, scenes (i.e., destinations), and residents (Cutler & Carmichael, 2010).

According Pine and Gilmore (1999, p. 12), a tourist experience can be defined as a “set of activities in which individuals engage on personal terms.” For Oh et al. (2007, p. 120), who analyzed this concept from the consumers’ perspective, a tourist experience is something “pleasant, engaging, and memorable.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

Tourism Experience: This is a set of activities in which individuals engage on their personal terms, such as pleasant and memorable places, allowing each tourist to build his or her own travel experiences so that these satisfy a wide range of personal needs, from pleasure to a search for meaning.

Augmented Reality: This facilitates a better understanding of the real world and permits the integration of virtual elements that help to complement real resources.

Consumer Behavior: This is the focus of studies of consumers and the processes they employ to choose, use (i.e., consume), and dispose of products and services.

Social media: These aggregates of online communications channels can be considered tools that can be used to define new business models strategically, taking into consideration analyses of community user-generated content and information shared with other members of these online communities.

Gamification: Gaming mechanics can be used to solve problems in nongaming environments, such as in a business, making it possible to measure and evaluate the reputation or performance consumers associate with products and destinations.

Intelligent Interface: This is any human-computer interface that can predict what users want to do and present information based on this prediction. The key idea is that this interface is more intuitive and helpful in a way that presents information to users in an appropriate context that is more adequate to their needs.

Cultural Heritage: This comprises physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a place or society that are inherited from past generations. Tangible heritage includes buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artifacts. Intangible heritage includes folklore, traditions, language, and knowledge.

Business Intelligence: This results from information systems that combine data with analytical tools in order to provide information relevant to decision making, while seeking to improve the quality and availability of this information to decision makers.

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