What Impact Have Smartphones Had on the Tourist Experience?

Dan Wang, Temple University, Sangwon Park, University of Surrey, and Daniel R. Fesenmaier, Temple University, published “The Role of Smartphones in Mediating the Touristic Experience” on December 23rd, 2011 in the Journal of Travel Research. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here.

The abstract:

Mobile phones have evolved to be smart computers (smartphones) supporting a wide range of information services that can be accessed anytime and from (almost) anywhere. With the increasing number of users and greater incursion into people’s life, smartphones have the potential to significantly influence the touristic experience. This study explores the mediation mechanisms of smartphones by examining stories provided by travelers related to their use of smartphones (and associated applications) for traveling purposes. The results reveal that smartphones can change tourists’ behavior and emotional states by addressing a wide variety of information needs; in particular, the instant information support of smartphones enables tourists to more effectively solve problems, share experiences, and “store” memories. The implications of these findings are important in that they suggest a huge potential for smartphones in changing many aspects of the tourism business.

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