Web 3.0: tourism in virtual worlds
With emerging Web 3.0 technologies, the tourism industry confronts yet another wave of marketing challenges and opportunities. Three dimensional graphics (3D) and avatar-based environments provide new marketing applications and venues for tourism consumption. This paper explores the largest 3D virtual world, Second Life, and investigates tourism marketing opportunities and challenges as they emerge from the affordances of the application. The study employs a participation-systematic observation method. The findings show that various tourism businesses have launched their virtual brand representation in Second Life. The examples are discussed in terms of their Web 3.0 marketing functions. Although the effectiveness of these virtual world marketing strategies has not been assessed yet, they provide important guidelines for tourism marketers who would like to prepare for the paradigm shift inherent in Web 3.0- based marketing.
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