VR the world: Experimenting with emotion and presence for tourism marketing

R. Yung, Catheryn Khoo, L.E. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of presence, ubiquitous in VR research, remains in infancy in tourism literature. Researchers in the field have called for empirical studies into the determinants as well as consequences of presence, particularly in commercial environments. The objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of VR as a tourism marketing tool through presence and emotion – an association that has been suggested in cyberpsychology studies. Using a within-subjects experiment method, 72 participants experienced computer-generated, fully synthetic virtual environments of a cruise ship. The experiences were administered via pictures, video, and VR. The findings suggest that VR is significantly more effective than traditional media in evoking positive emotional responses to the stimuli. Theoretical implications include suggestions that fully-interactive synthetic VR may be more effective than 360’ VR due to the importance of engagement as a presence determinant. Managerial implications include suggestions to focus on engagement mechanics, rather than chasing photo-realistic VR advancements, for impact on emotional response. © 2020 The Authors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-171
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotion
  • Intention
  • Presence
  • Tourism marketing
  • Virtual reality


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