The European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR) at Mid-Sweden University is involved in the BIOTOUR project led by Prof. Peter Fredman at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).
The three year project (2017-2019) focuses on nature-based tourism (NBT) and its increasingly important role in the Norwegian bio-economy, conditions for its further development and contribution to business innovation, community development and sustainable use of natural resources. The ETOUR team composed by Tatiana Chekalina and Prof. Matthias Fuchs is responsible for the research domain of e-marketing and mobile customer relationship management (part of the Workpackage “Innovative tourism solutions”).
Outdoor recreationists increasingly interact with nature via technology and use mobile applications to consume, create and share NBT-related content. The ETOUR team focuses on a better understanding of the use of mobile devices and e-CRM applications to enhance various aspects of NBT experience, such as emotional, social and epistemic value dimensions, as well as excellence and safety of the trip.
The project aims at (1) the conceptualization and implementation of mock-up based mobile applications to satisfy segment-specific experience needs and to unfold major sensation potentials in the NBT context; and (2) at usability testing of NBT mobile application prototypes in a laboratory setting. More specifically, the study identifies value-creation potentials of content elements and functionalities of mobile apps (e.g. map-based information, weather/avalanche warnings, augmented reality, 360 images, QR-code tags, geocaching), location-based services (e.g. route guidance, check-ins), near field communication (NFC), mobile payments, and social media integration in a NBT context.
Expected research findigns will provide valuable theoretical and applied insights into NBT experience facilitation via mobile technology.