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Title: The development of a quality function deployment (QFD) model for the implementation of a mobile augmented reality (AR) tourism application in the context of urban heritage tourism
Author: Han, Dai-In
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 2123
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2016
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Technology has been widely implemented in tourism to enhance the tourism product and tourist experience. However, it remains a challenge for many tourism businesses in urban heritage areas to identify technological solutions and successfully implement them into their business strategy. Particularly for urban heritage sites, it is often challenging to provide information within and around a heritage site without disturbing or destroying the heritage image. Augmented Reality (AR) was identified as a suitable technology to overcome this challenge. However, while AR is not considered a new technology in many industries, and mobile tourism applications with AR functions exist, it has provided limited benefits to tourists due to the lack of using AR functions meaningfully. In addition, the development of wearable devices is increasingly focused on the use of augmented and virtual reality to enhance the user experience. Therefore, there is a need to explore methods of meaningful implementation of such technologies for the tourism industry. This study will investigate current standards of AR technology and tourist requirements in order to examine how to develop meaningful mobile AR tourism applications. For the development of a beneficial product, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), as a tool within Total Quality Management (TQM) was identified as the suitable theoretical background for the purpose of this study. QFD was developed in the theory of quality management, in particular TQM. QFD has since been employed across many industries including the hospitality and tourism sector in a number of studies. However, it has not yet been implemented in the urban heritage tourism context, presenting a knowledge gap. As QFD is designed to incorporate the customers’ view into the product design stage, the aim is to design a meaningful product that is valuable for the visitor and benefit the destination. Therefore, this research aims to eliminate the gap by generating a QFD model for the development of mobile AR tourism applications in the context of urban heritage tourism. Dublin was selected as the research site due to its rich urban heritage. After Dublin’s re-branding strategy in 2013, it has marketed itself with the brand image of ‘Digital Dublin’ in order to encourage the implementation of technology for the purpose of promoting urban heritage tourism. Therefore, Dublin was considered as the suitable research site for the purpose of this study. To achieve the research aim, a mixed method approach was employed for the primary research including semi-structured interviews, focus groups and questionnaires. The study was divided into three research phases. Research phase 1 investigates requirements of tourists, mobile AR application developers and industry experts from Dublin’s tourism industry for the development and use of mobile AR tourism applications in urban heritage tourism. 26 in-depth interviews were conducted with international tourists visiting Dublin in addition to 9 interviews with mobile AR application developers and industry experts from Dublin. Findings were analysed using thematic analysis, providing the knowledge base for Research Phase 2 – focus groups. The second research phase was conducted with tourists as a post-experience study. It aimed to confirm identified tourist requirements from the literature and Research Phase 1, and examine additional findings to design the questionnaire for the quantitative Research Phase 3. Research Phase 3 was conducted with domestic and international tourists in Dublin and provided an importance rating of identified tourist requirements for the development of the final QFD model for mobile AR tourism applications in the urban heritage tourism context. The outcomes from the quantitative research were analysed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to reduce tourist requirements for the final QFD model. By identifying tourist requirements and translating them into respective technical characteristics, this study provides a set of technological elements in hierarchical order for the design of meaningful mobile AR tourism applications in urban heritage tourism. The final 18 requirements are in close alignment with the outcomes of the qualitative research of this study highlighting the need of immediate access to information regardless of time and place, while being able to filter the available information to the tourists’ interest and needs. The final QFD model for the development of mobile AR tourism applications in urban heritage tourism was presented as the outcome of this research. The main contribution to theory is the extension in the identification process of customer requirements for the QFD model. While previous studies in QFD have mainly focused on product functions, such as software and hardware capabilities, the QFD model in this study aims to provide a balance between functional requirements and behavioural characteristics of tourists that are driven by psychological aspects. This study not only explored tourist requirements as in previous studies, but furthermore user resistance factors that would result in avoiding mobile AR tourism applications in urban heritage tourism. Including these criteria as customer attributes in the HOQ, the QFD model was extended to include behavioural and psychological attributes of customers, which is valuable for further implementation of QFD particularly in social studies. This research will furthermore contribute to professionals, Destination Marketing Organisations (DMO) as well as mobile AR application developers alike, by providing a model for the development of mobile AR applications in the context of urban heritage tourism that has incorporated tourist requirements as well as mobile AR application developer considerations. Furthermore, it needs to be acknowledged that the requirements are not limited to mobile AR applications, but are considered particularly valuable for further research in the area of mobile application development for tourism purposes and are expected to be partially transferable to other technology implementations for tourism products.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available