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New perspectives of experiential tourism: an exploratory analysis of live virtual tours during the COVID-19 outbreak

Piero Mastroberardino (Economics, Management and Territory, Università degli Studi di Foggia, Foggia, Italy)
Giuseppe Calabrese (Economics, Management and Territory, Università degli Studi di Foggia, Foggia, Italy)
Flora Cortese (Università Telematica Giustino Fortunato, Benevento, Italy)
Miriam Petracca (Università Telematica Giustino Fortunato, Benevento, Italy)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 24 December 2021

Issue publication date: 29 November 2022

461

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

This article develops an exploratory analysis and presents a content analysis of 1052 reviews of 108 live virtual tours posted on TripAdvisor and Viator.

Findings

The findings show that live virtual tours are perceived as experiences, all “four Es” are covered and two more sub-categories emerge.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

Research on the analysis of the reviews of live virtual tours has not yet been carried out.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

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.

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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