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The world is what you make it: an application of virtual reality to the tourism industry

Horan, Patrick P (1997) The world is what you make it: an application of virtual reality to the tourism industry. Master of Science thesis, Dublin City University.

The tourism industry is a highly information intensive-industiy. In few other areas of activity are the generation, gathering, processing, application and communication of information as important for dayto- day operations as they are for the tourism industry (Buhalis 1994). Traditional sources of tourism information, images, text, sound, animation and video, provide potential tourists with short and often rather limited glimpses of tourism destinations which may be inadequate to enable them to make informed decisions (Cheong 1995). In addition, these sources of tourist information provide only a passive experience as they often possess little involvement on the part of the potential tourist. Virtual Reality (VR), on the other hand, enables potential tourists to interact with and experience each tourist destination in high detail and provides them with enough information to make a well-informed tourist decision. When considering its application within the tourism industry, VR will offer the ability not only to view a destination, but also, to participate in the activities offered at the destination. Through VR the tourist advances from being a passive observer to being an active participant (Williams & Hobson 1994). This thesis addresses issues associated with the design and evaluation of a VR application to the tourism industry that provides users with all the traditional types of tourist information along with allowing them to experience a multi-participant, realistic, interactive and real-time walkthrough of real-life tourist destinations. In order to develop these walkthroughs, the basic concepts of VR had first to be analysed. This was achieved by gaining hands-on experience of the different types of VR hardware and software available in conjunction with an in-depth literature review. Following the completion of this analysis, an overview of the tourism industry was developed. This overview identified certain properties of the tourism product that lend themselves readily to the application of VR Once this was completed the final stage of the research was concerned with the development of the walkthroughs and the elicitation of knowledge from the development of these walkthroughs. There were many conclusions uncovered by this research but the most important was that VR can indeed be applied successfully to the tourism industry. The main areas of application will be in the areas of tourism policy and planning and the marketing of the tourism product. Another conclusion that was drawn from this research was that VR applications can help to generate realistic impressions and expectations of what can be experienced at a tourism location. The final outstanding conclusion drawn from this research was that potential tourists viewed the VR application as a decision making tool that increases their desire to actually visit a tourist location and not as a tourism substitute.
Item Type:Thesis (Master of Science)
Date of Award:1997
Additional Information:In conjunction with Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street.
Supervisor(s):Mac Donaill, Ciaran
Uncontrolled Keywords:Virtual reality; Tourism information
Subjects:Social Sciences > Tourism
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > DCU Business School
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:19501
Deposited On:14 Oct 2013 15:22 by Celine Campbell . Last Modified 05 Aug 2021 12:08

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