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Developing an augmented reality business model for cultural heritage tourism: the case of Geevor Museum

Cranmer, Eleanor Elizabeth (2017) Developing an augmented reality business model for cultural heritage tourism: the case of Geevor Museum. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The use of Augmented Reality (AR) in cultural heritage tourism has gained increased research attention, and studies identify many ways AR adds value to, and enhances the tourist experience. However, contrary to expectations and opportunities presented, AR adoption has been slower than predicted. It could be argued that the tourism sector is losing out of the benefits presented by AR, despite the fact adopting modern technologies is considered essential for tourist organisations to remain competitive and attractive. Through a comprehensive literature review this study has identified a need to develop a business model to explore the added value and realise ARs full potential. As a result of a review of existing Business Models (BMs), the study adopted the V4 model as a framework to scaffold initial research questions. The case of UNESCO recognised Geevor Tin Mine Museum was used to develop and validate ‘The ARBM’ using a mixed method approach combining interviews and questionnaires. Phase one data collection, involving fifty Geevor stakeholder interviews revealed support for, and recognition of ARs potential to add value to Geevor, as well as confirming the need to develop a clear implementation strategy. Using thematic analysis the ARBM was developed, consisting of five components; resources, AR value, stakeholder benefits, responsibilities and revenue. Each component contained a number of criteria which were ordered into a hierarchy of importance in the second phase of data collection: fifteen stakeholder questionnaires, completed and analysed using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). AHP is a multi-criteria decision-making method that organised criteria into a hierarchy based on perceived importance. This validated the ARBM for Geevor, providing strong proof of concept, aggregating stakeholder perceptions to produce a group decision identifying the most preferable ARBM options to purse when implementing AR at Geevor. Theoretically, the study found a number of AR values not previously identified, enriching the existing pool of knowledge. Practically, developing and validating the ARBM, provides tourist organisation managers with a framework to effectively implement AR, turning its potential into actual value adding benefits. Overall, it is clear, investment in, and adoption of innovative technologies is a necessity for tourist organisations that wish to remain sustainable and competitive in the future. This study moves closer toward meaningful implementation of AR.

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