This paper aims to find out if it is possible to consider live virtual tours, in the connotation assumed during the COVID-19 outbreak, as experiential tourism products. The paper focuses on Holbrook's “four Es” (“experience”, “entertainment”, “exhibitionism” and “evangelising”) to study the experience of live virtual tours.
This article develops an exploratory analysis and presents a content analysis of 1052 reviews of 108 live virtual tours posted on TripAdvisor and Viator.
The findings show that live virtual tours are perceived as experiences, all “four Es” are covered and two more sub-categories emerge.
The analysis is limited to the perception of tourists that are confident with the technology, to a small sample and a period of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Live virtual tours create a new segment, which “travels from home”. This does not preclude tourists from deciding to physically visit the places seen virtually.
Research on the analysis of the reviews of live virtual tours has not yet been carried out.
Author contribution: The paper is the result of the joint work of the authors. In the editing phase Piero Mastroberardino oversaw sections 1 and 6, Giuseppe Calabrese oversaw sections 2.1, 3, 3.1 and 4.1, Flora Cortese oversaw sections 2.3, 3.3, 4 and 4.3, and Miriam Petracca oversaw sections 2, 2.2, 3.2, 4.2 and 5.
Mastroberardino, P., Calabrese, G., Cortese, F. and Petracca, M. (2022), "New perspectives of experiential tourism: an exploratory analysis of live virtual tours during the COVID-19 outbreak", The TQM Journal, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 1732-1751. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-06-2021-0164
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited