Title: A second life based virtual community model for enhancing tourism destination accessibility in developing countries

Authors: Arunasalam Sambhanthan; Alice Good

Addresses: Department of Computing, University of Portsmouth, Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth PO1 3HE, UK ' Department of Computing, University of Portsmouth, Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth PO1 3HE, UK

Abstract: This paper rationalises a second life based virtual community model for enhancing tourism destination accessibility in developing countries. Firstly, the paper reports a literature review on the existing virtual world based community models used in industries such as entertainment, education, nursing and health. Ten cases were selected from the literature and evaluated using the typology of virtual communities propounded by Porter (2006). Secondly, a meta - content analysis of second life based tourism groups and places has been undertaken to investigate the level of usage of second life in tourism related endeavours in a global context. Nine places and 20 groups were identified in second life which are focusing on tourism related information and experience sharing. Finally, a second life based virtual community model to increase the destination accessibility of tourism products has been rationalised. Implementing the proposed community model is expected to enhance the tourism destination accessibility for users of different categories.

Keywords: second life; virtual communities; tourism destinations; developing countries; destination accessibility; online communities; web based communities; information sharing; experience sharing; tourist information; tourist experiences; community models.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCENT.2013.058623

International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise, 2013 Vol.3 No.4, pp.269 - 286

Received: 12 Nov 2012
Accepted: 30 May 2013

Published online: 12 Jan 2014 *

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