Chapter 9: Better: Digital media can make tourism experiences at heritage destinations better
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Digital media offer incredible opportunities to enhance tourists' experiences, supporting their decision-making process and enlarging their discovering possibilities at any level and at any stage of the trip. In this chapter, we focus on the contribution of digital media to tourism at heritage sites and we present how, by connecting the physical with the digital world, some of the recent technological developments can be used to enhance visitors' experiences either in terms of (additional) products and services offered (e.g. reconstruction of destroyed parts of a site, direct access to information about the site) or with respect to the modalities in which these products and services are consumed and accessed (e.g. via audio-recordings downloadable on place, by playing a digital game about the site). More specifically, some digital tools, namely smartphones, QR codes and augmented reality, are presented, as well as a digital mode, gamification. At the end of the chapter, the concept of smart destinations is introduced to illustrate how these different technological improvements, together with big data elaboration, can favour the implementation of economic, territorial and social measures to enhance the tourism experience at the destination level, increasing its accessibility, sustainability and efficiency.