Title: Virtual reconstructions as destination tourism?

Authors: Elizabeth A. Bartley, John E. Hancock

Addresses: The Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, University of Cincinnati, USA. ' The Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, University of Cincinnati, USA

Abstract: Recent scholarship posits several motives behind the attraction of destination tourism: escapism towards simulacra/romance; acts of pilgrimage/consumption situated in modern constructs of identity; questing for the |authentic| between physicality and experience. Meanwhile, museums are grappling with capturing the attention and the imagination of visitors; |virtual heritage| can help address this problem. However, our media are already one step further from |experience|, already simulacra and representation. Nevertheless, we are able to tap into the essential urges that drive tourism. Examples will illustrate methods of enriching virtual environments with: multiple approaches to |authenticity|; opportunities for identity construction; engagement with environmental experiences.

Keywords: heritage tourism; virtual reconstruction; existential authenticity; exhibition design; new media; destination tourism; virtual heritage; cultural heritage; digital culture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDCET.2008.021409

International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism, 2008 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.225 - 239

Published online: 24 Nov 2008 *

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