Information Technology Assignment: Implementation Of Augmented Reality (AR) On Tourism
Task: In this information technology assignment, you are required to prepare a thesis on the topic “Improving the user knowledge and experience using augmented reality in tourism” using relevant sources.
The current information technology assignment sheds light on the concept of augmented reality (AR) which is the digital technology that is gradually making changes within the perception of the people about their surroundings and over the time the technology has become increasingly popular in the travel industry primarily because it enables the tourism industry to expand their business by enhancing the accessibility into the physical environment. It has been estimated the market of AR technology will increase from $5.91 billion to $198 billion within 2025. With the introduction of pioneering mobile apps, travellers can experience extensive travel experience with the help of AR technology and simplified their travel search that ultimately assists in building resilience. On the other hand, involvement of augmented reality within travel industry serve enormous amount of relevant information to the travellers 24*7, so that travellers can get a clear picture about the destination that they are visiting. The AR technology fulfils all the queries of the customers and enriches their travel experience with interactive maps and helpful ways of navigation. The research will focus on the factors that encourage the travel sector to adopt the AR technology and identify the present charges that prohibit the tourism sector from adopting the technology.
The enhancement over computer generated world has included modifications in presentation of real-world object in visually appealing manner. Informative layering over real object with the help of computer application allows users to experience a more satisfied journey through tasks deployed over AR (Augmented Reality). The introduction of augmented reality is preferred among tourism companies to provide better visual experience for tourists searching to stay or visit any location. In one of the major leaps toward integration of augmented reality, Marriot hotel has collaborated with Blippar to produce 3D animated images and interactive promotional ad to increase the potential of their marketing approach (applausedigital.com.au, 2021).
This project was headed with an intention to optimise the obsolete experience of printed flyers by allowing tourists to receive 3D animations instead of simply reading the flyers.
Some of the reason that allows AR to improve user knowledge and experience is due to availability of push notification from Beacon technology, accurate tourist spots, 24*7 guide, adherence to customer feedback and instant availability of information for tourists. Applications such as City Guide Tour and Street life have capitalised on inclusion of AR into tourism sector by providing better navigation for guided tours and altering physical surrounding into 3D experience. This approach would not only allow Australian government to provide a unique set of visual and attractive features with AR but also heighten the expectation of tourists visiting Australia.
Aim & objectives
The aim of the study is to improve the user's knowledge and experience using Augmented Reality (AR) in the tourism sector with a better experience.
To evaluate the factors responsible for adopting AR in the tourism sector
To identify the challenges related to the adoption of augmented reality in the tourism sector
To analyses the impact of AR on the areas of tourism business
To determine strategic measures to improve the user’s experience through AR in the tourism sector
Rational for conducting research
The primary reason for conducting this research is to acknowledge various benefits available for tourists and organisations active in tourism industry. It need not be denied that COVID crisis has made a negative impact toward tourism sector. As per last recordings, the onset of COVID resulted in loss of 6% revenue generated from tourism sector and also resulted in job cuts (tra.gov.au, 2021). In order to understand whether the implementation of AR can help in reviving tourism sector and improve user experience, the research over AR benefits and issues resulting from AR integration into tourism sector is relevant for the study.
On the other hand, Palmariniet al. (2018) has stated that modernisation of technological interface for consumer centric approach plays a crucial role in developing an industry. It cannot be denied that modern tourism sector requires efficient communication and sharing of information that can be acquired in less span of time. Augmented Reality is one of the technological tools which can enhance user knowledge of tourists either through application or by scanning a particular QR code from flyers/images. However, Farshidet al. (2018) has highlighted that hotels and companies can be able to provide 3D visual experience and better navigation for their tourists. This study can be able to understand the factors and reason for deploying AR which can be helpful to pinpoint the pros as well as cons of AR into tourism industry, The provision of literature information and collection of data from journals and online PDF’s can help in making critical analysis of findings. These analyses would be utilised to conclude whether AR is efficient to improve user knowledge and the proposed benefit it can bring toward tourism sector.
Factors for adopting AR in tourism
Augmented reality (AR) has been an innovative technology that holds a new perspective to the reality that people observe. According to Iatsyshynet al. (2020), it is recognized to be the most disruptive emerging technology as it has improved the global technological rate by 58%. A few innovative professionals are considering AR for implementing it in their business cards in order to improve the user's experience. Personal innovativeness also plays a major role in an individual as they are foremost ones who are more inclined to pay attention to the adoption of new technologies. As personal innovativeness has a good impact on the ease of user's use, the implementation of AR in the tourism sector has been greatly considered in order to enhance the visitors experience through a determinant of behavioral intention.
The feeling of interactions within a real-world environment has only been possible due to its seamlessly good AR experience. As per the views of Nechypurenket al. (2020), AR can reduce the cognitive tasks of the user's that aim to turn the design of the reality device into a more powerful tool. The actual interpretation, information and recognition of the tasks carried out by the AR can allow a streamlined user experience that not only provide decision-confidence but shall also reduce the human interaction in mind. Involvement of AR in the tourism sector is noticeable due to the ease of travel search by the clients and building up trust with the sector.
Challenges associated with the implementation of AR in tourism
The limited content on the chain of AR is challenging as applicable to the tourism sector. Due to the lack of availability, a negative impact is created on the tourist's mind. Some of the contents of AR are very expensive in nature due to which it becomes difficult for the general tourism sector and consumer to make a successful purchase (Palmariniet al. 2018). As most AR headsets are tethered by computers, it causes problems for the tourists while playing the AR in the tourist spot due to its sudden low availability.
The drastic use of AR can be detrimental for the users of the tourism sector as it can deliver harmful ionizing radiation that can induce stress or anxiety for a few minutes. On the other hand, the usability of AR has been complained to produce dizziness and nausea that greatly impact human health. The realistic simulated motions depicted through the AR affect the perception of a person in time and space due to which it can produce fatigue or ill-health (Farshidet al. 2018).
Absence of regulations
Due to the absence of proper regulations under the business and consumers to understand the type of AR applications used, the technological tool can drive with malicious intent. For instance, cybercriminals can easily hijack the personal accounts of the tourism sector by mining the data output through the AR content. Lack of involvement of regulations in AR usage can turn to confront security and privacy issues within mainstream adoption.
Impact of AR in tourism
The tourism industry is generating exclusive experiences with newer styles of customer servicing. As per the views of Masood & Egger (2020), it has trimmed down language differences across the foreign destination without taking a translator to guide oneself. The AR technology supported in the smartphone acts like a foreign language translator for different types of clients. In addition, AR is like a navigation system that adds a digital component such as arrows to discover new paths while visiting a foreign town. The tourism sector is known to improve the travel experiences by using AR as it can provide well-timed information through the enlarged mobile applications. Implementation of AR in the tourism areas can even build all-around the room tours including the lodging and price details of the hotel that is one of the strong marketing and advertising tactics. It is a good way to engage the targeted guests within a comprehensive scale of the tourism sector and transform the one-time clients into loyal guests for a long-term chain. The 3D animation leveraged by the AR has become an innovative style of a tourism sector in order to collaborate with the content or market-based agencies in relation with the AR printed brochures having the animation features (Fraga-Lamas et al. 2018). Augmented reality can stimulate the tourism sector by predicting the real time information such as predicting the weather conditions at the present times in order to make them aware of the current scenario and take on a preventive measure before their navigation.
Improvement measures for AR in tourism
Augmented reality is a perfect tool for the tourism sector as it opens better opportunities both for the tourist as well as the tourism industry. The tourism sector should greatly leverage AR devices in such a way that it acts like a guide map to the customers while peeking into every corner and alley. It can often let them gain insight on the local tourist attractions beside the hotel so that they can spend some quality time there by exploring the places (Garzón, Pavón, &Baldiris, 2019). Involvement of such guide maps can improve the user experience and make them feel more convenient while using an interactive way to navigate. On the other hand, the tourism sector should educate their customers more often by letting the AR dive into the depth of science and history of a particular tourist spot. The fascination gained from a place hundreds of years ago definitely adds appreciation for the clients that is only possible via the AR applications that can open a window into the past. In addition, the tourism industry needs to break the communication barrier by accessing the bright side of AR application devices by duplicating everything on the app such as particular signs or notations that can often improve their travelling experiences (Bonetti, Warnaby& Quinn, 2018). Creating interactive advertisements using AR-powered brochures can be advantageous while fascinating offers for tourist attractions or boosting up high-profile campaigns in magazines and national press agencies.
Lewin change management model
Implementation of Lewin change management model entails the perception of needed changes in order to move towards the newer behavior as per the suitability of the latest norms and principles. Adoption of augmented reality in the tourism sector requires a change management approach that is solidified better with the help of this Lewin model. It can integrate the AR applications by following the norms and policies of the industries in a sustainable way. Involvement of the Lewin change management model in the tourism sector can improve the user's experience by identifying the human behavior, implementing the information flow of the AR and lastly by sustaining the long-term changes that are required in the tourism sector.
Figure 1: Lewin change management model
(Source: Bonetti, Warnaby& Quinn, 2018)
Customer journey map
The visual representation of the customer journey map gains insights on the B2B business intervention that can allow a personalized customer experience. Inclusion of customer journey maps in the tourism sector can provide prominent and detailed information of the tourist places with live videos and 3D images that can often be an inspiration and motivation key for the visitors (Rosenbaum, Otalora&Ramírez, 2017). Tracking the customer journey map through the AR applications can let them get a warm gesture from the tourism sector until their complete service chain and this can be surprisingly controlled by the clients by using their smartphone devices.
Gap in literature
The study has explored the strategic ways and methods that can beneficially improve the user's experience by encompassing AR in the tourism sector. However, the study has untouched various findings on the technologies that maximize the AR chain in better hands. Due to the pandemic situation, the study has not involved brief information about the latest trends that the tourism industry is adhering with the AR check. Limited information has been detailed out in the study with response to the importance of user's experience in the tourism sector that is only possible via AR.
In this research, the research has been considered as the essential element as its objective is to obtain the expected information for the collection of information related to the research subject and to implement the analysis correctly. The research design helped in establishing the techniques which assisted in meeting the objectives for improving the user’s knowledge and experience using Augmented Reality within the tourism sector with a better experience. In this research, with the help of secondary research design, the information has been acquired through available finding papers concerned with AR (augmented reality) within the travel sector. This secondary research design has been associated with the quantitative research design that assisted in performing the fundamental research to complete a statistical and hypothetical understanding of the research problem (Akcam et al. 2019). The secondary research design for accumulating the secondary data related to the implementation of augmented reality and its applications in the tourism industry helped in gaining insights from various reliable websites and journals of travel sectors. The distinguished research design assisted in understanding the dependent and independent variables within this research which eventually helped in producing an efficient understanding of the applications of augmented reality for developing the user experience in the tourism industry.
The research approach has been used to evaluate the techniques of accumulating data and the purposes for performing the interpretation of the research topic. In this research, the desk research approach has been utilized for analysing the data. This process assists in examining the available data from reliable online publications and websites. As stated by Mohr et al.(2018), the research approach generally helped in determining to create the statements from the existing various data sets that have been accumulated in a particular pattern for creating a theory. The desk research approach is also termed as the secondary research approach that also includes utilizing existing data for increasing the overall effectiveness of the research. Hence, the desk research approach is entirely achievable with the quantitative approach rather than a qualitative one. The implementation of the desk research approach assisted in addressing the application of AR technology, which helped in analysing the real-time data. It involves the formulation of data in a quantitative way that maintains the subject within the comprehensive quantitative analysis in a defined and approved way. It has been found that this research approach has been meant for establishing the statements from the gatherings of the data that have been assembled in the continuation of identifying the patterns for improving a theory. Hence, this study has been followed the desk research approach from the assemblage of pre-existing data that started with the observations and theories that are being collected in a uniform way rather than any assumptions. As a result, the desk research approach has been selected for generating the determinations of adopting AR technology in the tourism industry from the ser of collected data for recognizing the patterns for establishing theories.
Data collection is considered as the accumulation of data that used to be associated with the factors and events of important facts and values for establishing more stable outcomes with the help of various trusted sources. The implementation of relevant data collection methods supported in making wise judgments that ultimately transformed the production of the business. In this research, the accumulation of data essentially spun around obtaining papers associated with an augmented relative in reference to the tourism industry. According to Aini et al.(2018), there are two types of methods for collecting data which are primary and secondary data collection methods. The primary data symbolizes the data which has been assembled through several surveys or interviews on its own. On the other hand, secondary data collection normally incorporates suitable data concerning the research topic collected through trustworthy sources like websites, journals, online articles, and various databases. Here the data has been accumulated from the online articles and papers using secondary data collection methods which have been published within the range of 2012-2020 which used to be available online for download. The accumulation of relevant data assisted in forming relevant research papers that allowed for understanding the determination of a study. The implementation of the secondary data collection method has been included to support the researchers in obtaining data from the internal and external origins of the tourism sectors. Though, there are various websites and blogs that helped to obtain complete insights regarding augmented reality within the tourism industry with deeper understanding. Hence, using online articles, journals, and other resources indicate the methods, applications, and tools of augmented reality that could assist in developing the user experience and knowledge about the hotel convenience, sightseeing, food selection, and also transport. The data which has been accumulated helped in describing the research questions about augmented reality within tourism.
The association of data analysis methods assisted in facilitating the researchers for prototyping and remodelling related data that helped in achieving the objectives. In this research, the desk research approach has been used to analyse the existing data from trusted websites for formulating crucial decisions. In this research, quantitative research analysis helped in analysing the accumulated data by the secondary data collection method. The data analysis helped in establishing the conclusions of the research, including that the resolution to the research questions has been obtained after doing the data analysis (Angelov et al. 2017). Based on the data analysis, it has been found that the tourism industry implemented effective augmented technologies for enhancing the quality of customer experiences for the tourism business. It has also been observed that several data sources used to be found on the internet for supporting the research questions hence, it has been easier to analyse the findings. The data analysis method assisted in determining the parameters that later served in recognizing extensive sets of data which also helped the obtain the resolution of the research question after doing the data analysis.
Finding and analysis
Impact of augmented reality in travel sector
Involvement of the desk research approach process has encouraged the researcher to include information that can clearly state the impact of AR technology within the travel industry. Analysing relevant papers and articles that have already been published previously, it has been clear that use of augmented reality has been improving day by day in the travel industry. In the 19th century, the concept of AR technology was relatively new and the usage of the technology has been limited to the science and technology department (Nayyar et al., 2018). However, over the years the technology has gained immense popularity and with the release of the first augmented reality game Pokémon Go, the users have gained real experience of traveling virtually. The travel companies are now concentrating on the introduction of AR based travel apps that can increase the level of customer engagement and provide them a competitive edge over their competitors. On the contrary, it has been witnessed that the function of AR technology has differed from virtual reality technology. AR technology does not replace the real-world experience but it overlays the digital component over the real-world component that delivers a more enriching and visually appealing experience to the users. Due to the capability of enhancing and altering the perception of people about their surroundings, therefore, most of the travel conies are now focusing on developing AR based travel apps and as per the latest report, the number of travel-based app users increased from 1.96 billion to 2.4 billion in 2023. Therefore, it can be concluded that the AR technology can improve the selling experience and add leverage to the tourism industry by improving their performance. On the other hand, the technology supported in any type of device such as AR can be experienced through smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices that are less expensive in comparison to virtual reality enabled devices. In addition to that, one of the positive aspects of the AR technology is its relation to beacon technology that allows the business and marketers to send push notifications to their customers when they enter a specific location (Saoud& Jung, 2018). For instance, Starwood hotels has already incorporated the technology that allows their customers to unlock their hotel rooms when their location is in close proximity to the hotel.
Figure 1: Market growth of augmented reality technology
Source: forbes.com, 2020)
Reason for extensive use of AR within tourism sector
Multiple reasons have been associated with the extensive use of AR technology in the tourism sector, for instance, one of the primary reasons for the increasing use of AR is that it is capable of improving the searching experience of customers. As per the opinion of Kekeš, &Tomii, (2017), the technology not only enhances the searching expense of the users but adds value to the other business through ad recognition services. The technology is able to deliver a more immersive experience to the customers as customers can be informed with vital details such as distance, visual clues and other nearby places. On the other hand, the technology is also able to analyse the real time information like the present condition of weather. Application of the technology encourages hotels to deliver quality service to their customers as most of the hotels have involved the technology to boost their offering by use of interactive elements in their hotel rooms. For instance, the Hub hotel from Premier Inn in the UK has already installed this technology in their wall maps that allow them to preview more convenient and enjoyable experiences to their customers. On the other hand, hotels are also using augmented reality to attract customers in their business.
Figure 2: Increasing number of mobile AR users
Source: forbes.com, 2020)
It has been witnessed from the finding that level of customer satisfaction can be improved with installation of AR technology. Based on the opinion of Cranmeet al., (2020), use of the technology has successfully provided sensory experience to the customers that help in increasing the engagement level of customers. Interactive hotel rooms, augmented environment and the use of beacon technology has together reshaped the level of customer service in the hospitality industry. With the delivery of real time information to the travellers, they can find the vacant hotels with detailed pricing strategy and select hotels that can be afforded by them.
On the other hand, language barriers can be overcome with the use of AR technology. The customers can gain access to the information with their local language that helps in increasing the level of understanding and it also improves the level of familiarity and comfortability in unknown places. The customers can also get the opportunity of a virtual tour of the hotel rooms that will help in increasing the understanding of the customers about the service they will get after arrival. Hub hotels of Premier Inn have already decorated their rooms with maps of the city that point out the local attractions and act as real-life guides to the new arrivals. Hotels are also promoting the technology to attract customers to their business and influence the decision of customers for specific destinations.
Installation of AR technology influences the rate of revenue generation of the hotel industry by increasing the involvement of customers. As the technology is involved with the wildlife factors and promotes the positive factors to not only improve the businesses of hotels but also the whole tourism industry. For instance, Marriott hotels is one of the reputed hotels in the UK that has developed an iOS-based application that allows the consumers to interact with their planner and gather brief ideas about the pace that ultimately influence their decisions of whether to join the palace or not. On the other hand, Inamo restaurants involve AR technology within their menus that allow the customer to order from their seat. The whole information is directly sent to the chef and allows them to deliver customized service to their customers. As per the opinion of Han et al., (2019), delivery of personalised service can increase the engagement level of customers and directly impact on the revenue generation of the hotels. It has been also seen that implementation of 360-degree imagery technology can help in promoting the destination to potential clients. Therefore, the interactive marketing experience has positively influenced the engagement level of customers with the hospitality sector. Inclusion of AR technology within the function of the hotels and tourism sector is an important stepping stone that helps in integration between the real and virtual world and allows customers to make more informed decisions. On the contrary, during the time of covid-19 pandemic, business of hotel and tourism industry had been impacted hugely as travellers are restricted to travel outside their zones. AR technology has helped in eased up the restriction in the travel industry and provide opportunity to travellers to enjoy the travel experience without stepping out from their comfort zone. Increased budget for promoting the use of AR technology has helped in grabbing the confidence of travellers and improving the experience of customers.
Recommendations 1: Implementations of AR in an extensive way can mitigate the availability issues It has been found that there are limited number of AR chains available in the tourism industry as it has been just introduced in this sector. As a result, the lack of availability has been caused a negative impact in front of the tourists. It is important to enhance the user experience to gain more successful purchases in the tourism industry. As the availability issues have created an impact of being expensive of AR which has caused difficulty for the tourism sector. Hence the implementation of AR in large numbers should be done to mitigate the availability issues within the tourism sectors. Recommendation 2: Proper education to the customers regarding AR should be given from the tourism industry. It is important that the tourism sector should educate their customers about AR for understanding the insight of the latest technology in tourism. It helped in clearing the concept of tourism through the latest application for attracting the tourists through their attractive offers and discounts which enhance the high-profile campaigns of the tourism business.
Recommendation 3: A guide map should be implemented within the AR tools
Implementation of a guide map is essential within the AR applications or tools to enhance the customer experience as it is a next-level technology that helped the tourism industry to open opportunities for tourists. For attracting tourists and enhance the adoption level of these applications of tourism by tourists, it is crucial to provide every detail and navigation through AR of the tourist spots or the hotels to make them feel more convenient.
Recommendations 4: Cyber security should be strong within the AR applications
As the AR applications have just been implemented within the tourism industry, it has been found an absence of proper regulations within the business and consumers. It is possible that for understanding the AR applications, the application tools could also go through malicious intent. Including that for enhancing the user interface and experience it is necessary to implement encrypted payment tools to increase the security of customers. So, it is important crucial to increase the cyber security of the AR applications so that no malicious activities could take place and all the sensitive data of customers and the tourism industry should also be protected.
The research has been concluded about augmented reality within the tourism sector which needs to be improved the knowledge of the user and their experiences. As a result, there are several circumstances that developed for choosing AR within tourism which endures a new viewpoint to the actuality that people frequently perceive. The research also concluded that the implementation of AR within the tourism sector has been considered in order to improve the visitor’s experience by a determinative behavioural purpose. Including that, the user-friendly specialty served to overcome the intellective tasks of the customers that intend to transform the picture of the real device into a potent tool. It has also been concluded that the implementation of AR assisted in enhancing the user’s experience by providing a next-generation experience to the tourists by implementing a navigation system to tourists to enhance their travel experiences. AR helped in exciting the tourism sector by foretelling real-time data such as predicting the weather circumstances at the existing times in sequence to make them informed of the current situation and choose a precautionary action before their travel.
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