Augmented Reality for Tourist Destination Image Formation

Augmented Reality for Tourist Destination Image Formation

Azizul Hassan (Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch349
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Abstract

In principle, the application of technology is unprecedentedly increasing for destination image formation and Augmented Reality (AR) can be a primal example in such context. This conceptual paper synthesizes the functionalities of AR in tourism destination image formation. This study explores AR application aspects for tourism destination image formation while, placing them in an emerging tourism economy perspective with Bangladesh as the example. A critical explanation generated from reviewing the current literature is offered. Results determine interrelatedness between tourist destination image formation and AR application. In the emerging tourism market scenario, the possibilities of AR application are unlimited but, the policy and structural capacities remain largely inadequate. Study upshots also show that, this technology convincingly creates better perceptions leading to positive tourist destination image.
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Background

Tourist Destination Image Formation: The exact meaning of tourist destination image is a bit difficult and knotty. So far, this term has been used in diverse perspectives relating destination image. Such image is normally projected by tourism promoters publicly, a destination’s stereotype image or individual led destination images. Echtner and Ritchie (1991) noted that, a major part of the definitions of tourist destination image in earlier studies is obsolete. This means that a comprehensive research to define tourist destination image becomes essential. As defined ‘image is one of those terms that won't go away ¼ a term with vague and shifting meanings’ (Pearce, 1988: 162). Still, the actual meaning of ‘image’ centres at the core of such complexities. The term has been applied in as considerable number of knowledge disciplines including psychology, behavioural geography and marketing. In psychology, the notion refers to a type of visual representation. In behavioural geography, this turns as more comprehensive as associated with beliefs, values, knowledge, impressions and emotions. However, in marketing, the term points to the attribution underlying image and attach image to consumer behaviour.

One of the accepted definitions of tourist destination image is offered by Crompton (1979:18), ‘the sum of beliefs, ideas and impressions that a person has of a destination’. This definition clearly involves individuals when, many other definitions concedes that images can be shared by groups of peoples. From tourism marketing perspective, this is essential to understand the common image facts with a particular group’s other members. Such considerations support market segmentations by facilitating marketing strategy formulations. Another commonly accepted definition of tourist destination image is offered by Lawson and Baud Bovy (1977) as, such image is the outlining of all objective knowledge, imaginations, prejudice, impressions and emotional thoughts that a group of people or an individual can have about a particular destination.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Destination Image Formation: AR technology certainly supports in destination image formation. The technology is viewed as a reliable source for providing necessary photographic and typographic information about a tourist destination (Hassan & Jung, in press). The technology affects tourists’ decision by using virtual spaces. A number of platforms as Layar and few others offer the destination marketing organisations (DMO) to publish contents with geo-referencing, tourist attraction descriptions, accommodations, restaurants supported by required information and data about that particular destination (Hassan, 2013). However, such AR technology based contents cannot be widely available to adopt the general users.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Tourist Destination Image Formation: Tourist destination is meant as an attitudinal or mental construct development based on impressions.

Emerging Tourism Economy: The economy of a country where, the contribution of tourism is getting a gradual importance.

Technology adoption: The adoption or use of a technology.

Internet: Internet is an electronic network connecting billions of computers globally.

Tourist Perception: The ideas of a tourist prior to actual visit.

Innovation: Innovation refers to a method, idea, or product that is considered as new.

Augmented Reality: This technology is regarded as the later stage of Virtual Reality (VR). Following this technology, a human as a user interacts with a computer generated environment that augments reality.

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