Enhancing Tourism and Cultural Experience Through Gamification

Enhancing Tourism and Cultural Experience Through Gamification

Deepanshu Setia, Rupinder Singh, Amol Sharma, Arun Khosla, Kiran Ahuja, Kulbhushan Chand
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7253-4.ch007
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We all travel to different historical places but rarely notice the cultural significance of the place: the history behind the various things and locations. The primary aim of this chapter is to devise and develop means to enhance tourism and provide culturally important knowledge to people. Moreover, internet is booming, and the number of smartphones is increasing day by day. The same is happening in many developing countries. Therefore, in this chapter, the authors propose a criterion that uses technology to promote historical significance and enhances tourism industry as well. The proposed app uses the concept of gamification that acts as a platform to fuel the process of branding in a manner that engages the tourists and provide them with an experience that can make them feel more connected to the tourism destinations.
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1. Introduction

Digital technologies have helped tourism at various stages. Earlier it used to be the World Wide Web. But in recent years mobiles-based applications are replacing the WWW. The convenient interface, easy to use, less loading time have won hearts. Technologies like GPS have made it possible to use real time location services and help users get accurate location-based recommendations of hotels, food courts etc. (Poon et al., 1993).

Tourism is a vast industry. Modern transportation systems, easy availability of modes of rapid transportation have helped this industry to grow. Nowadays tickets, rooms and hotels can be booked with a couple of clicks. The tourism of historical places is also increasing at a very fast pace. Historical places are visited not only for fun and recreation but for getting an insight into ancient culture. It gives us a way to know from where we are coming. Cultural tourism also helps people to learn about different countries in an easy way. But there is a major problem faced by cultural tourism especially by international tourists. The amount of knowledge they will get about a particular place is mostly determined by tourist guides. So, the most a person can learn will be limited by the knowledge of tourist guide. In vast civilizations like that of India which is home to many religions, more than 18 languages the problems get more complicated to learn and understand (Xu et al., 2013).

Tourism is the backbone of a country as it not only highlights or promotes the art and culture of a country but also provides local people with significant employment opportunities. Beside this it also increases the income of other businesses that supply the tourism industry. If more tourists visit a country then chances are that tourists will come to country with foreign currency and that is very beneficial to the country. Some tourists may be interested in business hence they may ask for the certain products which in turn will enhance business. Most of the tourists are always fascinated by new cultures, so after making one tour they would be further motivated to various other places. Also, it is a source of pleasure and enriching experiences. It can be of many types like winter tourism, mass tourism, niche tourism, sustainable tourism, adventure tourism, cultural tourism. eco- tourism, volunteer tourism, medical tourism and dark tourism etc. (Weber et al., 2014).

There has been global growth in tourism. In the WTTC report (https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/regions-2018/world2018.pdf), it is predicted that nearly 100 million new jobs could be created over the decade ahead. It is one of the largest economic sectors that account for 10.4% global GDP and 313 million jobs, i.e., 9.9% of total employment in 2017.

The tourism industry in future will be based heavily on customization. The travel agencies will seek more innovation and will provide tailor made experience to travelers. The aim would be to provide mental and physical space for travelers to mix with the new place. The importance of social media will also enhance the traveler’s experience even more. Guests and local people will be together involved in creating new tourism models, attractions and services through use of technology.

Travelers in future will like to seek authenticity as the crucial ingredient to their vacations. Through their experience they will try to engage in the local culture and the ethnicity of the place. With AI, machine learning, virtual reality as the newest trends we can raise their expectations for living the experience rather than just seeing it. According to UNWTO game mechanisms and the game elements if applied in tourism can bring excitement, fun, arousal, pleasure and sense of achievement and can help engage a greater number of tourists (Xu et al., 2017).

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