Do you remember the last time you’ve been to a museum and you enjoyed it? First and foremost, in a fiercely competitive leisure economy, museums are faced with the challenge of gaining a strategic position as an option for spending leisure time, therefore being able to provide memorable and unique experiences. Breaking down existing barriers and challenging the traditional role of the museum as a collection-focused institution preoccupied mainly with preservation and spectatorship, new forms of technology represent a tremendous possibility for museums to offer unique experiences to their visitors. In particular, technological breakthroughs such as extended reality (XR), if suitably implemented, represent a sizable strategic opportunity for differentiation. Given the increasing interest in the possibilities that emerging technologies present in the realm of cultural tourism, academic inquiry is necessary to fill up existing gaps in knowledge. By conducting a qualitative study based on existing literature and the thematic analysis of 19 semi-structured expert interviews using a deductive, theory-driven approach, the present study tries to answer the question of how museums use XR technologies to innovate their visitors’ experience in order to gain a strategic position. The findings reveal that extended reality technologies can support an experience-based innovative visitor model that accounts for strategic differentiation, bridging the real and the virtual worlds in a synergistic manner and having the potential to engage the visitor, stimulate participation, and let the visitor co-create the experience. Evidence is found that at the core of the experience design should be the visitor and that the technology integration should represent a form to support the visitor orientation.

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Matthijs Leendertse
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Ioana Ichim. (2023, February 28). Museums x Technology: Innovating the visitor experience through extended reality technologies. Media & Business. Retrieved from