Virtual Reality Experience in Tourism Advertising: Roles of Immersion and Advertising Engagement

Paper accepted for presentation at the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) Annual Conference, St. Petersburg, FL, March 24 – 27, 2022

Abstract: Building favorable destination image and evoking positive feelings toward tourism ads are essential to the success of destination marketing in the competitive tourism business environment. The current study investigated the potential of virtual reality (VR) in providing new and innovative avenues for promoting destination image in tourism and testing its impact on advertising engagement that follows the VR experience. Despite the increased use of VR in destination advertising and its advantages over traditional media platforms, its effectiveness and the underlying mechanisms driving advertising engagement remain underexplored. Guided by the proposed conceptual model of immersive virtual tours, the current study investigated the roles of self-location and ad engagement along with several key variables (i.e., enjoyment, destination image change, attitude toward the ad and the brand) using a lab experiment (N = 78). Results indicate that experiencing a VR tour of a destination had a positive impact on ad engagement and that enjoyment of the immersive experience mediated the relationship between self-location and engagement with an ad shown after the virtual experience. The level of immersion moderated the effect of VR experience on ad engagement. Theoretical and managerial implications of VR tourism are discussed.

Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn  Jihoon (Jay) Kim 

Related Research


Sexualized Images of Female Influencers in Instagram Advertising: Do They Work?

Abstract: The primary purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of sexualized images of influencers on the effectiveness of advertising regarding both cognitive and motivational processing. Overall, the results indicate that the sexualized images of influencers negatively affect the evaluation of the influencer, which in turn affects attitude towards the ad and […]

Jihoon (Jay) Kim
read more
Decoding Demarketing Advertising: The Role of Company Mission Commitment and Credibility on Demarketing Efforts

Abstract: Consumers are increasingly in support of sustainable marketing and demarketing has received attention as a viable strategy in response to this growing sentiment. As only a few studies focused on testing demarketing in the context of mindful or anti-consumption, this study tested the effects of practical elements such as a company’s mission commitment level to the […]

Shuoya SunHye Jin Yoon
read more