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Research interests

Dr. Jessika Weber Sabil is the professor for Digital Transformation in Cultural Tourism at the Academy for Tourism of Breda University of Applied Sciences (NL). 

The vision of the professorship is to explore the use of digital realities in cultural tourism with the aim of enabling the inclusive, social, sustainable, historical, educational, and economic growth of local communities, tourism businesses and individuals to reinvigorate the idea of an enhanced public space, heritage sites, and tourism destinations. Additionally, to outline the notion of ‘beyond tourism’ as the further development of the so-called ‘never-ending tourism’.

From 2016 to 2022, Jessika worked as a senior researcher and project manager under the Professorship of Serious Games, Innovation & Society where she led research projects on games and tourism. Recent projects included the project SCITHOS from 2016-2019, a Horizon 2020 -funded project on smart tourism hospitality, which focus was a serious game to engage tourism policy makers in sustainable urban decision and tourism planning processes. The Interreg project DigiTourism evaluating best practices of policies implementations of digital enhanced realities (AR/VR/XR) on the structure of the digital tourism ecosystem. The more recent Horizon2020 project SmartCulTour (2019-2023) with its goal to support regional development in all European regions with important tangible and intangible cultural assets, including those located in rural peripheries and the urban fringe, through sustainable cultural tourism. 

Jessika holds a PhD from Bournemouth University (UK), where she explored the mobile game experience of tourists with location-based augmented reality games in urban environments. The influence of digital technologies on the tourism system and individual tourist experience, is what captivated Jessika’s research interest throughout since her master studies on Tourism and Innovation Management at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg (Austria) and the University of Applied Sciences in Western Switzerland. Her research interests cover the application of games in travel and tourism to explain complex systems, policy development to further extended realities and the influence of digital transformation for cultural, heritage, tourism, and society. 

Jessika is a member of the International Federation for Information Technology in Travel and Tourism (IFITT), Swiss Austrian German Simulation and Gaming Association (SAGSAGA) and the Europeana Network. Publications can be accessed via ResearchGate



Digital transformation, cultural heritage tourism, augmented reality, extended realities, digital society, serious games, location-based games, playful design, experience design, system thinking, eTourism.


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