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Abstract

Maps are essential tools for providing information about tourism destinations to tourists. With the emergence of digital maps, more and more destination websites use various forms of digital maps to help tourists orient themselves before they even reach the destination. Based on psychology and virtual reality literature, this study constructs a framework to measure how the different types of digital maps affect potential tourists’ ability to explore the space represented in the maps. In addition, the study explores how individual characteristics of the tourists such as spatial ability and evaluations of the maps such as perceived interactivity and perceived user control affect virtual experiences of the space presented in the map. An experiment was conducted to test the measures and obtain preliminary findings regarding variations in the constructs based on the type of map used.

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The Role of Interactive Maps and Spatial Ability in Creating Virtual Tourism Experiences: A Measurement Framework

Maps are essential tools for providing information about tourism destinations to tourists. With the emergence of digital maps, more and more destination websites use various forms of digital maps to help tourists orient themselves before they even reach the destination. Based on psychology and virtual reality literature, this study constructs a framework to measure how the different types of digital maps affect potential tourists’ ability to explore the space represented in the maps. In addition, the study explores how individual characteristics of the tourists such as spatial ability and evaluations of the maps such as perceived interactivity and perceived user control affect virtual experiences of the space presented in the map. An experiment was conducted to test the measures and obtain preliminary findings regarding variations in the constructs based on the type of map used.