Envisaging AR Travel Revolution for Visiting Heritage Sites: A Mixed-Method Approach

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Technology in Society

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Augmented Reality (AR) offers transformative potential for augmenting and replacing realities within a wide range of business and social applications. Within this, this study explores antecedents of behavioral adoption of AR mobile travel apps to visit a heritage site by substituting in-person and corporeal tourism experiences through a visualization technique that overlays 3D simulated architecture in front of a user. This research specifically investigates the collective impact of perceived app attributes of the AR service model, and critical characteristics of users in terms of their underlying psychological predispositions impacting their behavioral intention to use AR travel apps for heritage tourism in an emerging nation. In pursuance of this, we adopt a unique mixed-method research methodology where industry experts and travel enthusiasts are invited to delve into the phenomenon and identify facilitators of AR mobile app adoption for heritage tourism in India. Empirical findings find that experiential authenticity, service quality, and user innovativeness are the significant underlying factors expediting the use of AR mobile apps. Additionally, with a focus on the sustainability aspect of AR tourism, this study considers sustainability within travel. This construct is critical since it discerns how it affects the boundary conditions in the light of consumers' personality characteristics for determining intention to use AR apps, thereby providing insightful inferences for the tourism industry and research.