Opening new dimensions for e-Tourism

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Virtual Reality: research, development and applications, 2007, 11 (2), pp. 75 - 87
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In this paper we describe an e-Tourism environment that takes a community-driven approach to foster a lively society of travelers who exchange travel experiences, recommend tourism destinations or just listen to catch some interesting gossip. Moreover, business transactions such as booking a trip or getting assistance from travel advisors or community members are constituent parts of this environment. All these happen in an integrated, game-like e-Business application where each e-Tourist is impersonated as an avatar. More precisely, we apply 3D Electronic Institutions, a framework developed and employed in the area of multi-agent systems, to the tourism domain. The system interface is realized by means of a 3D game engine that provides sophisticated 3D visualization and enables humans to interact with the environment. We present itchy feet, a prototype implementing this 3D e-Tourism environment to showcase first visual impressions. This new environment is a perfect research playground for examining heterogeneous societies comprising humans and software agents, and their relationship in e-Tourism.
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