Try Before You Buy: Using Virtual Reality for Travel Planning
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- Master's theses (SV-NHS) 
Technological innovations have been transforming the way we handle tourism. Virtual reality (VR), one of the most recent commercially available technologies, is an underexplored marketing opportunity for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and for companies within the tourism industry. This emerging technology can help to build a closer relationship between DMOs and the traveler. Within this context, it is predicted that tourist may benefit from using VR applications in their travel planning phase, as they get the opportunity to pre- experience potential travel destinations, accommodations and other travel related activities before their actual trip. Virtual Reality can also serve DMOs to better promote travel destinations and services in an innovative way, rousing the travel intention in potential tourist. To explore this possibility, a survey based on the Technology Acceptance Model was used to collect data throughout a 43-item questionnaire that participants had to complete after a virtual travel experience to a preferred destination. The results revealed significant effects on the behavioral intention to use virtual reality for travel planning. Based on these results it is suggested that Virtual Reality technology is a useful and enjoyable tool that will ease the process of planning a trip and help make better informed decisions.
Master's thesis in International Hotel and Tourism Management