MU research delves into the passionate use of mobile phones among tourists
February 24, 2016
Researcher and Lecturer Lidija Lalicic from the Department of Tourism and Service Management and Assistant Professor Christian Weismayer from the Department of Applied Statistics and Economics have recently published two papers on their research into tourism and mobile phone usage.
‘’Dr. Wesimayer and I had the chance to analyze a very important topic in the field of tourism namely the integrated use of smartphones,’’ says Dr. Lalicic. ‘’Tourists are inherently relying on these devices to steer their experiences, however there is a large field of research that needs to explored further. Hence, we looked into the concept of passion as a way to visualize the relationship tourists have with their phones and its effects on the experience. We hope to continue with more research projects in this exciting field of research!’’
As technology becomes more available and affordable, consumers get increasingly absorbed in and reliant on technology, becoming passionate users. This trend is also observed in the field of tourism. The development of travel-related apps, free WI-FI spots, QR codes and augmented reality applications are a few examples of how consumers use mobile phones to enhance their travel experiences. By making use of on exploratory data analysis approach, the study combines the concept of passion and affective states derived by mobile phone usage while traveling. The study identifies three types of users based upon emotions towards mobile phones. Among the three clusters a visible relationship with passion is detected. This study illustrates the psychological processes underlying mobile phone usage affecting the overall tourist experience. This study supports marketers designing mobile-enhanced tourist experiences for different mobile phone users.
Abstract: ‘’Being passionate about the mobile while travelling’’ in the research journal Current Issues in Tourism.
People interpret the availability of their mobile phone similar to their personal (social) relationships (friends, family, and pets). Hence, mobile phones are appliances that provide continuous functional and emotional support. Also, in the field of tourism, the integrated use of mobile phones is indicated by words such as ‘catalyst’ and ‘travel buddies’, enhancing tourists’ experiences. This study goes one step further by incorporating the concept of passion and affective outcomes of using the mobile phone while travelling. Perceived socialness of the mobile phone significantly effects passionate behaviour and affective outcomes. For practitioners aiming for digital innovation in the field of tourism, these findings provide insight into the development of tailor-made travel-related applications. Furthermore, affective feelings derived from mobile phone usage will be enhanced by effective travel-related applications encouraging the modern tourists while travelling.