Virtual Digital Experience: New Visual Communication for Promotion of Territory

The current societal context creates a new communicative situation (Simondon, 2017), mediated by digitization and social distance, which reinforces the importance of the virtual visual environment. This environment of virtual reality (Hashish, 2020; Steuer, 1992), and immersive virtual environments (Slater, 2009) are leading to a symbiosis between machines and humans (De Landa, 2006, 2016) and are changing the way the consumers access and perceive information.

Experiences that make consumers feel emotions plays a key role in this new context. It positively influences the importance that consumers involve in their consumption experience (Giannelloni and Le Nagard, 2015). Researchers report the importance of using experiential information in promotional stimuli, particularly in the process of choosing a touristic destination (Goossens, 2000; Huang et al., 2010). The research of Jung et al (2017) on 360-degree virtual reality content reveals the potential for using virtual reality to attract tourists and improve their intention to visit a destination. One of the limitations of these studies is the lack of comparison between immersive (3D) virtual worlds and other forms of visual representation (Hashish, 2019).

The present project is in line with this work on the use of virtual reality in territorial promotion and proposes to analyze the virtual experience of a territory based on a new interdisciplinary approach. This study aims to design a new analysis virtual communication and experience models.


This project aims to

  • Identify the first tracks towards innovative approaches and models through workshop and focus groups;
  • Create a Swiss-Russian scientists consortium that addresses communication and virtual experience;
  • Initiate a process of developing interdisciplinary skills around communication and virtual experience, in particular through internships for young researchers;
  • Encourage innovation, through meetings and interactions with peers from different academic backgrounds, both in Switzerland and in Russia.


In order to propose new communication and virtual experiences models for territorial promotion, an innovative scientific consortium will be set up. This consortium will carry out a first analysis based on scientific articles. Based on this preliminary study, the project will set up a first ideation phase. The goal of this phase is to generate ideas on new models of virtual communication and experience analysis through three workshops and an internship for young researchers/docs.

In an evaluation phase, we will conduct a comparative analysis between the immersive virtual experience and virtual reality. The focus of this comparative analysis goes to the perceived value of the territory by consumers (tourists, inhabitants or investors). This experience will be conducted in two focus groups, in Switzerland and Russia. The results will allow us to identify ideas with high potential for territorial development.

Following these two cited phases the consortium will conduct an evaluation of the results in order to identify the new communication and virtual experience models. The results will be presented in a joint conference and will be subject for a joint project submission.


University of applied sciences of Western Switzerland:

Plekhanov Russian University of Economics:

  • Dr. Marina Shilina
  • Dr. Elena Okunkova
  • Mr. Alexander Vrubleskiy

Moscow Aviation Institute:

  • Mr. Alexey Kurennykh

Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences:

  • Mr. Stepan Kozlov