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One of the most interesting technologies to the digitization of tourism is virtual reality (VR) since this technology allows very reliable virtual replication of real tourist experiences through immersive content (Guttentag, 2010). This becomes even more relevant when assumes that the tourism experience has more impact and is more memorable when the
stimuli made available by the surrounding environment are more dynamic (Huang et al., 2013).
Based on the activities already developed in the scope of the DouroTur project with the creation of a prototype with immersive multisensory contents as innovative support to tourism activities in Douro region, it is intended through the present project to validate the applicability of the set of concepts and technologies mentioned to the promotion of this tourism destination.
Thus, within the scope of the present project, it is intended to develop the promotion of the tourism associated offer in an innovative and differentiated way through the use of VR and immersive contents. This objective is based on the creation of multisensory immersive contents that allow replicating real tourist experiences. This artifact will allow its users to experience tourism immersive experiences, without the need to be present at the place of origin of the experience.
The development of a case study focused on the promotion of Douro region, particularly the Alto Douro Vinhateiro, as a tourism destination, through the use of immersive contents will also allow: to evaluate the behavioral intention of acceptance of multisensory immersive contents in mobile devices for promotion of this tourism destination; to make a comparison between the image of the destination induced by the immersive contents with that resulting from other digital content; to analyze the impact caused by VR in the formation of tourism destination image compared to that
formed through a real visit.
Assuming itself as an innovative project, the present proposal intends to represent the initial stage of a long-term and concerted action for the creation of a tourism promotion regional and / or national ecosystem, using innovative and differentiated technologies, where their stakeholders can be involved in the process of creating multi-sensory immersive contents that enhance experiences related to their tourism resources and products, such as the vineyard, wine and landscape and cultural heritage of the Douro, which is recognized by UNESCO.