Behavioural impacts of mobile tour guides
Electronic tour guides have been developed to personalise guided tours. Also, in contrast to traditional tours, electronic tour guides allow their users to abandon or modify tours at any time. Research as to whether users take advantage of these added capabilities is currently not available. A field trial was conducted comparing the behaviour of tourists as they were using a Planner providing a personalized guided tour and an Explorer displaying the current location in a map and supplying information about sights on request. The results indicate that users differ significantly in the way and extent to which they take advantage of both mobile applications. It seems that the Planner satisfies the demand for guided tours additionally leaving much needed room for spontaneous deviations. Surprisingly, tour duration, walking distances and number of sights visited using these different mobile applications were similar to traditional guided tours.