Digital Transformation-Oriented Innovation in Museum Settings via Digital Engagement: Virtual Reality

Digital Transformation-Oriented Innovation in Museum Settings via Digital Engagement: Virtual Reality

Ali Yuce
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9656-2.ch013
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The digital era has been one of the most popular topics that has drawn a vast amount of attention over the past several decades. Digitalization-oriented innovative approaches to unleash the business potential and improve consumer satisfaction with immersive technologies have been another hot topic among scholars. Although theoretical-based discussion dates back to the 1930s regarding the development of virtual reality, practical aspects of immersive technology are still scant in the current literature. Thus, this study proposes several objectives: (1) how advanced immersive technology can revolutionize the accessibility of the museums, (2) how VR technology influences visitors' motivation, (3) the linkage between VR technology and visit and revisit intentions. Due to the lack of supporting evidence in a museum setting, this chapter also aims to enhance the extant literature by exploring the critical aspects of VR technology. Lastly, this study also intends to come up with constructive, innovative, and creative suggestions for the local and national authorities and museum management teams.
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'Nowadays, people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.'Oscar Wilde.

Tourism and technology are two interwoven elements that influence every aspect of our life. While emerging technologies have transformed the way we have lived and things we have accustomed to, from communication to education, tourism has driven the world economy from generating foreign exchange to employment. As a notable tourism branch, museums are not left behind from this ongoing process/trend. The museum sector is one of the most valuable travel and hospitality industry segments that plays a pivotal role in creating a destination image (Cristobal, Ramón Cardona, Daries-Ramon, & Serra Cantallops, 2021; Perera, 2013). Museums play a remarkable role in preserving and transmitting the antic and modern civilizations’ cultures, traditions, arts, and rituals to the generations to come (Atzeni, Del Chiappa, & Mei Pung, 2021; Perera, 2013). Hence, museums can be called the tangible place that preserves the past and current generations’ cultural heritage. However, with the advent of sophisticated immersive technologies, physical places have transitioned to the virtual environment or platform that has enabled visitors to access the museum without actually visiting it. This notable development has become a major game-changer in the tourism industry since immersive technologies have constituted one of the most powerful and readily accessible digital platforms.

Cultural tourism has a significant economic and social impact on visitors and host communities. But there is no common or standardized definition of cultural and heritage tourism in the extant literature. While Perera (2013) defines it as visiting destinations that preserve and protect the immeasurable treasure of the past and our times, UNWTO defines it as ” centered on cultural attractions and products” (UNESCO). The prominent role of cultural and heritage tourism can be further seen through the notable benefits to the entire tourism (Perera, 2013). The recent studies emphasize the importance of culture and heritage-oriented tourism activities for the local and national economies. Cultural tourism is an important segment of the tourism industry (Cristobal et al., 2021). According to the UNWTO survey, it has been discovered that 90% of the countries which feature the tourism policy have been engaged to develop strategies to promote their unique cultural assets (UNESCO). Lastly, cultural tourism takes up a considerable portion of European tourism. EU reports that every 4 out of 10 visitors travel to historic cities, museums, and cultural activities to learn about the destinations' unique culture and history.

As noted earlier, tourism is the locomotive of the world economy. Before the pandemic, international tourist arrivals and international tourism exports reached a point beyond the tourism organizations' forecasts. In 2019, more than 1.4 billion tourists visited different locations from the Americas to Asian countries, generating more than $1.7 trillion within the entire industry. Tourism also takes full account of creating 7% of global trade (UNWTO, 2019). On the other hand, this outstanding tourism performance created many direct, indirect, and induced effects such as increased investments, employment, increased involvement in supplier chain, better wage income, and increased tax revenues. (UNWTO, 2019) also reported that following the fuel and chemical industries, tourism is the third-largest export industry, accounting for one in 10 jobs, which equals 100 to 120 million jobs and influences the millions of people's livelihoods worldwide. Another important characteristic of tourism is providing greater job opportunities for women than men. With its various segments, including cultural tourism, tourism has been a core economic source for the local destinations and host communities that depend heavily on tourism affairs (Perera, 2013; UNWTO, 2020).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Reality: It is an interaction with the Artificial of Things through computer-generated images and visuals.

Digitalization: It is the process of implementing the information and communication technologies or digital technologies that rapidly transform the business environment by eliminating human error, improving business productivity, and increasing consumer satisfaction.

Information and Communication Technologies: It is an umbrella term encompassing various applications (Software) and components (Hardware) that help store, creates, and distribute digitalized information.

Virtual Reality Environment: The platform with highly influential innovative technologies creates an enormous immersion called ‘the sense of presence’.

Augmented Reality: The convergence of virtual and real objects/things using advanced hardware and software.

Virtual: It is the Artificial of Things (AoT).

Digital Tourism: Digital tourism offers a platform that enables consumers to experience the tourism product or services through digital technologies.

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