Exploring the Role of Graphic Design-Driven Virtual Reality in Sustainable Tourism

Exploring the Role of Graphic Design-Driven Virtual Reality in Sustainable Tourism

Eman Alkhalifah
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7513-0.ch005
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Since the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism has declined precipitously as a result of lockdown procedures that have prohibited the majority of international travel and ultimately increased people's online activity at home. Virtual reality (VR) is an example of an online activity that simulates and infiltrates the real world through games and interactive media. This chapter aims to determine whether using newer generation wearable devices to create virtual reality experiences via immersive graphic design has an effect on people's intentions to visit virtual destinations and tourist attractions in lieu of physical travel. The chapter also determines the effect of perceived visual appeal (PVA) and emotional involvement (EI) on behavioural intentions toward visiting a cultural heritage site in a virtual destination. Using the Saudi Arabian holy pilgrimage of Hajj as a case study, the chapter hypothesises that delivering the PVA of the virtual experience via virtual reality via immersive graphic design will result in a significant increase in intentions to visit a virtual destination.
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Potentials Of Virtual Tourism Destinations

The evolution of technology has had an effect on the inventions of products, services, processes, and management (Schwab, 2017; Zhong et al., 2017). New technologies have altered how tourism businesses design and deliver tourism experiences, as well as how visitors perceive destinations (Huang et al., 2016). In particular, new technologies have the potential to connect tourists and destinations, to extend the experience in time and space, and to increase the value generated by the process of involving all stakeholders (Chen et al., 2017). Tourists can take advantage of both virtual and physical experiences while travelling, courtesy of mobile technologies. Three stages comprise the travel process: pre-visit, during the trip, and post-visit (Rahman et al., 2014). During the pre-visit phase, tourists begin to form expectations for the visit and activate their decision-making process. To a large extent, new technologies are critical during this preparatory stage, as businesses and destinations can leverage new technologies to promote their products and destinations in more innovative and effective ways. While websites and social media are frequently used to promote tourism destinations and products, there are only a few of the widely used technological tools, which are employed to collect data and facilitate social interactions with other tourists (Liu et al., 2020).

Tourism organisations can leverage augmented reality (AR) to increase visitor traffic and thus improve their own destinations. Academics have long been intrigued by the potential of augmented reality to enhance destination information provision and to create engaging and interactive tourist experiences (Chen et al., 2017; Han et al., 2018; Jung & tom Dieck, 2019; Lourenção et al., 2020)

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