Exploring virtual tourism: Value formation in online experiences in sharing economy platforms

Tutkimustuotokset: OpinnäytePro gradu


During the COVID-19 pandemic and succeeding lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, several services and activities shifted from physical to virtual environments. For example, lectures, conferences and work-related meetings among many other social practices which took place face-to-face in the past started to be organized in virtual spaces. The same phenomenon could be observed in tourism, an industry heavily impacted by pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns. In particular, sharing economy platforms played an important role in introducing the concept of online experience, which refer to live, interactive video sessions offering access to meeting expert hosts, online interactions and an opportunity to interact with people around the world. These online experiences can be wine tasting sessions, nature walks, guided city tours to composing lyrics or cooking an exotic dinner. As a new concept, online experiences represent an extension of our understanding of virtual tourism which before the pandemic was simply limited to the idea of using virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality in a tourism and hospitality context.

In view of the new advancements in virtual tourism, this thesis aims to contribute to a theoretical and practical understanding of tourism consumption in virtual spaces. To that end, the unpublished article included in the thesis explores value formation in the context of online experiences offered by tourism-based sharing economy platforms. More precisely, the article looks into how consumers and service providers interact and enact practices that may lead to the co-creation or co-destruction of value in an online experience context. In doing so, the article draws upon the theoretical discussions of interactive value formation and practice theory which have been taking place in marketing and tourism studies. Methodologically, the article used data collected during an action research study conducted between 2020 and 2022. The empirical data consists of observation, semi-structure interviews, focus group interviews, and reflection papers written by consumers. The data is analysed with the help of content analysis. By identifying four online experience-related value formation practices, this research draws attention to practices that need to be supported in order to both facilitate value creation and avoid value destruction in online experiences. Finally, the thesis sheds light on the implications of virtual tourism for sustainability in tourism.
PätevyysTaiteiden maisteri
Myöntävä instituutio
  • Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulu
Myöntöpäivämäärä10 kesäk. 2022
TilaJulkaistu - kesäk. 2022
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG2 Pro gradu, ylempi Amk-tutkielma


  • Matkailututkimus
  • Liiketaloustiede


Sukella tutkimusaiheisiin 'Exploring virtual tourism: Value formation in online experiences in sharing economy platforms'. Ne muodostavat yhdessä ainutlaatuisen sormenjäljen.

Viite tähän julkaisuun