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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/75789
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- Evaluating the effectiveness of telepresence in cultural tourism websites: panoramic virtual tours for the promotion of tourism and cultural identity in Taiwan
- Tu, Yu-Hui
- Within the context of globalisation, cultural identity has been emphasized by nationstates to differentiate themselves from others in global tourism markets. To be successfully positioned in the competitive global marketplace, a destination must create, as its key component, a favourable and appealing perception or image. As the Internet has become the predominant channel for tourism marketing, the establishment of successful online destination images is urgently needed. Destination images and positive online experiences have been found to correlate with the decision-making and behavioural intentions of tourists. In the physical world, travelling is a direct experience enabling tourists to observe and feel the exotic atmospheres of different places. Virtual experience, the verisimilitude of direct experience, has been recognised as an effective approach in tourism marketing. Its impact on user attitudes towards a destination can be enhanced via advanced website features. Telepresence, an experience of being metaphorically transported to another place, and a sense of presence in mediated environments, may facilitate the creation of a better online experience, due to its capability of intensifying user experience in virtual environments. Researchers have indicated that telepresence has positive effects on users’ attitudes toward websites. However, no empirical study has been carried out to examine the effectiveness of telepresence on tourism websites. Panoramic photography has been developed and utilised in the tourism area for many years, based on its feature of creating an interactive virtual experience. Using Taiwan as a case study, this research investigates the effects of interactivity and vividness, the major determinants of telepresence, on users’ attitudes toward the website. Panoramic photography is employed as a key feature of the website, and there is a focus on Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) theory as the guiding principle of the experiment. Two websites with different levels of interactivity and vividness are developed for the experiment (http://www.culturaltaiwan.com/high/index.php; http://www.culturaltaiwan.com/low/index.php). Users are then tested in a postexperiment questionnaire, assessing the value of attractiveness, informativeness, enjoyment, and telepresence. The results indicate that significant differences were only found in enjoyment value, which conflicts with the assertion of previous studies. It is suggested that the notion of experimental reality should be taken into consideration and that NDM may provide a useful model for application in tourism web marketing.
- Publication type
- Thesis (DDes)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Design
- Publication year
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Copyright © 2009 Yu-Hui Tu.