Augmented reality and the enhancement of memorable tourism experiences at heritage sites
Current Issues in Tourism
Taylor & Francis
School of Business and Law
Beijing Social Science Association Key Fund “Capacity Construction and Improvement Path of Beijing Suburb Tourism Community”: [Grant Number 19GLA004].
Augmented reality (AR) has revolutionized the tourist experience, presenting an opportunity to generate meaningful engagement with unique culture and heritage. Despite the potential, a limited empirical inquiry has assessed the efficacy of AR for the creation of memorable heritage tourism experiences (MTEs). Consequently, this research aims to examine the efficacy of AR for enhancing the memorability of tourism experiences (MTE) at heritage sites, the such as Great Wall of China, using a smartphone app, equipped with four interrelated AR heritage tourism experiences, used by visitors. Applying one-group pre–post quasi-experimental design (n = 275), respondents’ MTEs were examined, compared and contrasted with and without the AR experience. Results demonstrate that virtual AR heritage tourism experiences enhance the MTE of a visit to the heritage tourism site, with differences in experience intensity found across the MTE parameters. Furthermore, this empirical research probed into impacts of AR experiences on the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of tourists visiting an outdoor heritage site, and it addressed MTE is a mediator of the relationship between tourist attitude to AR experience and behavioural intention. The paper contributes new understandings and insights to the on-going application and advancement of AR technology in a nature-based tourism context.