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Behavioural intentions through virtual reality from a destination image perspective

Filipa Jorge (Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism (DEGEIT), Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies (GOVCOPP), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal)
Nieves Losada (Department of Economics, Sociology and Management, Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD), University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)
Mário-Sérgio Teixeira (Department of Economics, Sociology and Management, Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD), University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 7 March 2023

Issue publication date: 18 July 2023

382

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate potential tourists’ behaviour regarding visiting and recommending a destination based on an image derived from a virtual reality (VR) model, including motivations for travel and place attachment.

Design/methodology/approach

The study had two phases and used both qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches. The qualitative approach consisted of a focus group conducted to obtain the most important attributes of the destination image. The quantitative approach, which consisted of a self-administered questionnaire, was distributed to all the participants following a VR experience to provide data to empirically test the hypotheses proposed in the conceptual model.

Findings

Motivations for travel positively influence the image of a destination in both its cognitive and affective dimensions. Also, the cognitive dimension of destination image influences affective dimension of destination image and both dimensions affect overall destination image. Moreover, destination image, cognitive dimension and affective dimensions influence place dependence and identity. In turn, place dependence and place identity positively influence intention to visit the destination, but not intention to recommend it. Finally, intention to recommend the destination is positively influenced by the intention to visit the destination.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the complexity of the overall experience, the sample was selected purposefully, and all participants belong to Generation Z. Extending this study to other generations would also be valuable.

Originality/value

Although the utility of VR for tourism marketing purposes has been one of the most researched areas during recent years, factors that could encourage tourists to visit destinations previously displayed in VR are not yet identified.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is financed by the ERDF ‐ European Regional Development Fund through the Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation ‐ COMPETE 2020 Programme and by National Funds through FCT ‐ Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia within project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031309 entitled “PromoTourVR ‐ Promoting Tourism Destinations with Multisensory Immersive Media”.

Citation

Jorge, F., Losada, N. and Teixeira, M.-S. (2023), "Behavioural intentions through virtual reality from a destination image perspective", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 347-366. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-02-2022-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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