eTURISMO  WORK GROUP

OBJECTIVE

Develop a system that allows user interaction with virtual reality and augmented reality environments to promote the main Protected Natural Areas (PNA) and Destination Cities (CiD) of ZONE 3 of the Republic of Ecuador, under the vision of cities and intelligent 3D destinations around the world through the development and use of technological facilities for national and international tourists.

SUMMARY

Tourism is an important part of a country's economy, which is why it requires adequate public strategies to make it possible. This is how countries tend to invest to maintain exponential growth and strengthen their competitiveness in the tourist attractions they possess. On the other hand, tourism requires creative marketing, for which easy technological means of access are important, which make it possible to shorten distances between different places, where there are no isolated societies, and it is possible to see multiple destinations before reaching them, for which the formation of virtual groups is encouraged, as is seen in e-tourism. This work proposes the formation of GT-eTOURISM in order to develop an interactive system for multiple users in virtual environments for the purpose of promoting tourism in Ecuador. The first stage focuses on the diffusion of tourist sites to promote and encourage tourism through virtual tourist sites with 3D virtual reality environments, while the second stage considers enhancing trips to tourist sites through augmented reality in which relevant information of the tourist attraction is shown through the camera of the mobile device.

The objective of this research project is to develop a system that allows the user to interact with virtual reality and augmented reality environments to promote the primary Natural Protected Areas (PNA, in Spanish) and Destination Cities (CiD, in Spanish) of ZONE 3 of the Republic of Ecuador, under the vision of smart cities and 3D destinations of the world through the development and use of technological facilities for national and international tourists.

For the fulfillment of this objective it is proposed that:

  1. A multimedia tourist inventory with the primary PNA and CiD of ZONE 3 of the Republic of Ecuador be structured to generate the database that will feed the proposed computer applications.
  2. An application be developed that allows real-time communication and data upload from different sources, either from mobile devices or meteorological station data collection sensors, to provide relevant information for the PNA and CiD of ZONE 3 of the Republic of Ecuador.
  3. Develop a virtual reality application that allows the interaction and immersion of multiple users in recreated and / or virtualized environments of tourist sites, in order to show real time information of the weather, services, and available activities, thus answering the three main questions all tourists have: What to do? What to eat? and Where to sleep?
  4. Develop an augmented reality application for mobile devices based on artificial neural networks for the autonomous deployment of complementary information by detecting the recommended tourist attractions and attributes related to the profile of the tourist in real time.
  5. Implement a high availability Cloud Computing infrastructure for managing information in real time to be sent, as needed, by the virtual reality and augmented reality applications.
  6. Performing experimental evaluations of the virtual reality and augmented reality applications performance as they are developed, in order to evaluate their usability.

BENEFITS

This project will generate benefits for academia by developing and training skills in the implementation of technological applications in the fields of tourism marketing, artificial intelligence, software, achieving scientific production for publications, and dissemination in international databases. At the same time, encouraging student participation in undergraduate and graduate projects that contribute to scientific knowledge, which encourages formative and generative research in universities.

In addition, the benefits for the community and society in general are framed in the use of the technological tools generated, which will contribute to the promotion, marketing, and operation of tourism in the PNA and CiD of Zone 3 of the Republic of Ecuador, through the MINTUR, MAE, GADs, operators and providers of tourist services.

These benefits will be seen in:

  • The development of an intelligent algorithm that will allow the identification of the main tourist attractions of a defined territory.
  • Development of a data acquisition application that will allow multiple users to share historical, and weather information with each other.
  • Development of a virtual reality application for marketing tourist destinations, allowing tourists to know relevant information and interact with their environment.
  • Development of an augmented reality application that allows tourist places¸ e.g., museums, monuments, historical buildings, recreation areas among others, to be explored.
  • Strengthening research at the institutional, regional, national and international levels.
  • Preparation and execution of new formative and generative research projects in parallel with this project.
  • Publications of the scientific-technical results obtained from research in international indexed conferences.

IMPACT

The results obtained from GT-eTourism will contribute to the awareness of tourist attractions, which will help increase the flow of visits to these destinations in zone 3 of the Republic of Ecuador, achieving a better awareness of these natural and cultural heritages by means of interaction with virtual environments, boosting the economy, and improving quality of life through tourism.

Another expected impact is the increase in the production of scientific articles, which will be published in regional and international databases, making the participating universities be part of the global scientific community.

PARTICIPATING UNIVERSITIES

 

For more information: gt_eturismo@cedia.org.ec