Metaverse and regenerative tourism: the role of avatars in promoting sustainable practices

Shuxu Liu, Fei Hao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study explores the role of avatars in enhancing awareness and learning outcomes in virtual regenerative tourism. Data from 483 participants engaging in online virtual tourism experiences were analyzed using partial least-squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The findings reveal that extrinsic motivations like authenticity, immersion, perceived social distance, and textual credibility positively influence attitudes toward avatars, which in turn significantly impact learning outcomes. These outcomes are moderated by intrinsic motivations such as prosocial identity. Enhanced learning notably shapes regenerative practices, including conservation efforts support for local community. Contributing to self-determination theory, this research highlights the interplay between virtual environments and self-identity in ethical behavior. It offers key insights for destination marketers and tourism operators in leveraging virtual technologies for sustainable tourism development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)869-884
Number of pages16
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2024


  • avatar
  • metaverse
  • Regenerative tourism
  • self-determination theory
  • sustainability
  • user engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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