Minna AHLSTÉN, LAB University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Maria MURTO, LAB University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Johanna HEINONEN, LAB University of Applied Sciences, Finland
When destinations are designing gamified experiences for visitors who walk from one attraction to another, all different forms of games should be considered as they support one another. Already in 2018 Dubois and Gibbs identified a correlation between video games and travel motivation in their study. According to Xu, Buhalis & Weber (2017) gamification can enhance the tourist experiences on site and be used as a marketing tool. Hence a video game combined with a mobile game creates a gamified environment where the traveler gets to experience a destination through stories and adventures while collecting rewards along the way.
King’s Road in Finland has risen up to this challenge by giving a team of professionals the liberty to design gamified and storified live experiences along the road and a video game based on the route’s history and Finnish mythology. The video game introduces King’s Road to a wider audience and the storified mobile game leads tourists on site, re-builds historical sights with augmented reality (AR) and enables sustainable route planning by leading tourists to less crowded sights and attractions.
The objectives of this paper are 1) to provide new insights and 2) to increase understanding of gamification in tourism. These objectives were explored by an inductive approach, where the gamified concept of King’s Road was presented to Finnish DMOs and their feedback was collected and analyzed thematically. The findings highlight the obstacles and possibilities of the presented gamification concept from DMOs’ point of view. As previous studies have identified the potential of gamification in tourism, this paper aims to extend that knowledge by proposing a new game-induced tourism framework, which can be used for future research and innovations.
Keywords: Gamification|Collaboration|Sustainability|Storification|Experience design