3D e-tourism environment
By werthner - Posted on October 22nd, 2007
Tourism has illustrated how the Internet can change the structure of an entire industry and, in the process, create new business opportunities.The development of more specialized services and further consumer integration will lead to smart marketplaces integrating all stakeholders. However, current e-Tourism applications are dominated by rather conservative approaches towards user-interface design.Considering the current success of Massively Multi-User Online Role-Playing Games on the one hand, and the growing market share of tourism products being bought online on the other hand, the combination of entertainment and business has the potential of creating enormous synergies for e-Tourism. In the end it should also make fun!The principal goal of this project is to develop an instrument to support the complex interaction patterns of providers and consumers in an e-Tourism setting. In particular, these providers and consumers, either humans or software agents, are members of a heterogeneous society cohabiting in a multi-agent based 3D virtual environment. This principal goal subsumes three sub-goals:- Provide a 3D e-Tourism environment for providers and consumers that enables versatile interaction between participants including trading of tourism products.- Provide a 3D e-Tourism environment that acts as a community facilitator to create and establish a lively and sustainable community involving both providers and consumers.- Provide a 3D e-Tourism environment that is information-rich to provide transparent and unified access to disparate multi-media information sources.These goals will materialize as an integrated, game-like e-Business application where each participant is impersonated as an avatar. This new environment opens a playground for exciting research to examine the collaboration in heterogeneous societies comprising both humans and agents and investigate their relationship in e-Tourism. This includes analyzing the implications of such environments on real-world tourism business, on trust towards online transactions, or the emergence of social and business networks. All this will be of increasing importance in the future since traditional media and Internet technologies are gradually merging, which results in an amalgamation of entertainment and business.