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Presenting hotels in virtual reality: does it influence the booking intention?

Presenting hotels in virtual reality: does it influence the booking intention? The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of telepresence while using a smartphone-based virtual reality system (SBVR) to explore a hotel virtually and to determine the influence of this immersive experience on the booking intention of the potential customer.Design/methodology/approachWithin the scope of this study, a conceptual research model was developed which covered utilitarian and hedonic aspects of the user experience of SBVRs and showed their relevance for the booking intention. A virtual reality application was programmed especially for the study, in which the test persons were able to virtually explore a hotel complex. A total of 569 people participated in the study. A questionnaire was used for the data collection. The structural equation modelling and hypothesis verification were carried out using the partial least squares method.FindingsThe immersive feeling of telepresence increases the perceived enjoyment and usefulness of the potential customer. In addition, the user's curiosity is aroused by the telepresence, which also significantly increases the perceived enjoyment as well as the perceived usefulness. The hedonic and utilitarian value of the virtual hotel experience increases the probability that the customer will book the travel accommodation.Research limitations/implicationsThe virtual reality application developed for the study is based on static panoramic images and does not contain audio-visual elements (e.g. sound, video, animation). Audio-visual elements might increase the degree of immersion and could therefore be investigated in future research.Practical implicationsThe results of the study show that the SBVR is a suitable marketing tool to present hotels in an informative and entertaining way, and can thereby increase sales and profits.Originality/valueFor the first time, this study investigates the potential of SBVRs for the virtual product presentation of hotels and provides empirical evidence that the availability of this innovative form of presentation leads to a higher booking intention. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology Emerald Publishing

Presenting hotels in virtual reality: does it influence the booking intention?

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References (51)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1757-9880
DOI
10.1108/jhtt-03-2018-0020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of telepresence while using a smartphone-based virtual reality system (SBVR) to explore a hotel virtually and to determine the influence of this immersive experience on the booking intention of the potential customer.Design/methodology/approachWithin the scope of this study, a conceptual research model was developed which covered utilitarian and hedonic aspects of the user experience of SBVRs and showed their relevance for the booking intention. A virtual reality application was programmed especially for the study, in which the test persons were able to virtually explore a hotel complex. A total of 569 people participated in the study. A questionnaire was used for the data collection. The structural equation modelling and hypothesis verification were carried out using the partial least squares method.FindingsThe immersive feeling of telepresence increases the perceived enjoyment and usefulness of the potential customer. In addition, the user's curiosity is aroused by the telepresence, which also significantly increases the perceived enjoyment as well as the perceived usefulness. The hedonic and utilitarian value of the virtual hotel experience increases the probability that the customer will book the travel accommodation.Research limitations/implicationsThe virtual reality application developed for the study is based on static panoramic images and does not contain audio-visual elements (e.g. sound, video, animation). Audio-visual elements might increase the degree of immersion and could therefore be investigated in future research.Practical implicationsThe results of the study show that the SBVR is a suitable marketing tool to present hotels in an informative and entertaining way, and can thereby increase sales and profits.Originality/valueFor the first time, this study investigates the potential of SBVRs for the virtual product presentation of hotels and provides empirical evidence that the availability of this innovative form of presentation leads to a higher booking intention.

Journal

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 13, 2019

Keywords: Telepresence; Hotels; Virtual reality; Booking intention; Product presentation; Travel accommodation

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