Gamified mobile experiences: smart technologies for tourism destinations

Ander Garcia (Vicomtech, Donostia, San Sebastián, Spain)
Maria Teresa Linaza (Vicomtech, Donostia, San Sebastián, Spain)
Aitor Gutierrez (Vicomtech, Donostia, San Sebastián, Spain)
Endika Garcia (Batura Mobile Solutions, Bilbao, Spain)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Publication date: 4 February 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to present gamified mobile experiences as valid tools for DMOs to enrich the experience of tourists, and to present the benefits provided to DMOs by analytics tools integrated on gamified mobile experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

Staff from three DMOs have generated a gamified mobile experience using a custom authoring tool designed and developed to fulfil their requirements. This gamified experience has targeted families with children visiting Basque Country during off-peak season. The experience has been validated over a period of seven weeks within a pilot project promoted by the local tourist information offices of the DMOs. Data directly provided by tourists and data gathered from analytic tools integrated on the gamified mobile experience have been analysed to fulfil the research objectives presented on the paper.

Findings

Both DMOs and tourists can benefit from gamified mobile experiences. The integration of analytics tools to gain insights into the behaviour of tourists can be a relevant information source for DMOs.

Research limitations/implications

The pilot project has targeted a niche tourism market, families with children visiting Basque Country, and has been running during off-peak season. Further studies focusing on other tourist types and different tourism season and destination types will be required to strengthen the validation of the research objectives presented on this paper.

Practical implications

The paper promotes both the development of gamified mobile experiences and the inclusion of analytics tools for DMOs to obtain relevant information about tourists and the mobile experiences.

Originality/value

A gamified mobile experience is generated by DMOs, validated on the basis of experience of real tourists. The analytics tools inside the gamified mobile experience provide DMOs with relevant information.

Keywords

Citation

Garcia, A., Linaza, M., Gutierrez, A. and Garcia, E. (2019), "Gamified mobile experiences: smart technologies for tourism destinations", Tourism Review, Vol. 74 No. 1, pp. 30-49. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-08-2017-0131

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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