The Effects of the Mobile Technology on Overall Tourist Experience: The Case of Augmented Reality Used During a Visit of Chambord Castle: An Abstract
In France, tourism sector is very important, and competition is high between all tourism sites and cultural heritage places. The development of augmented reality technologies can represent many ways to enhance tourist experiences. It can provide an answer to the issue of increasing competition, differentiation, attractiveness, and loyalty faced by many tourism organizations (e.g., Neuhofer et al. 2012, 2014). Considering the mixed potential effects of technology on tourism experience (Mukherjee and Hoyer 2001; Neuhofer et al. 2012, 2014; Nowlis and Simonson 1996; Thompson et al. 2005), the objective of this research is to clarify the effects of mobile technology on the attractiveness of cultural heritage tourism experience. For this paper, the field of the research was the biggest castle of Loire Valley, Chambord Castle, and a specifically new technology was considered, the augmented reality. The overall visiting experience was analyzed during the on-site visit. Following many researchers interested in sophistication strategies (Mukherjee and Hoyer 2001; Thompson et al. 2005), the perceived value approach is mobilized (Holbrook 1999; Galarza and Gil 2008). So the question was: what is the effect of using an augmented reality tool on the tourist experience considering the perceptual value dimensions?
We notice that two dimensions of the experience can be underlined: the spatial dimension and the temporal dimension. Both observations and interviews revealed that the use of augmented reality tends to change spatial and time considerations about the tourism experience as well as value dimension perception.
This research confirms the ability of Holbrook’s conceptual framework to be applied to the tourism experience. From the consumer behavior perspective, the multidimensionality of the tourism experience can be viewed and analyzed through value multidimensionality.
This article underlines also positive and negative effects of value dimensions during on site visiting experience with augmented reality.
The various contributions of this research must be appraised in the light of the limits of this study which represent so many new research issues. At first, a quantitative approach could be conducted to confirm and extend our results. Then, other mobile technologies’ effects could be studied during all stages of the tourism experience (pre-, during, and post-travel stage). Finally, this framework could be extended by considering other concepts (such as flow theory) or the relationships between different types of values with other constructs like satisfaction or loyalty.
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