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Tourism Gamification and Immersive Experience: A Perspective of Arousal Theory

Abstract
By viewing all tourism as activities with different gamification levels and collecting 1088 valid questionnaires, this study examines the relationship between the tourism gamification index and immersive tourism experience, with travel experience and arousal demand as moderators suggested by the arousal theory. The scale of gamification index was determined first, based on which a scale and a calculation formula for tourism gamification index were then developed. Comparisons were conducted between leisure sports tourism, Han-Chinese-costume photo-shooting tourism, and traditional sightseeing tourism. Findings suggest that overall, immersive tourism experience is positively influenced by tourism gamification index and the square of arousal demand, and negatively affected by travel experience. The influence of tourism gamification index on immersive tourism experience is moderated by arousal demand. These relationships vary significantly between different types of tourism. The tourism gamification index for leisure sports tourism and Han-Chinese-costume photo-shooting tourism is significantly higher than that for sightseeing tourism.
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