The preliminary project deals with the phenomenon of virtual influencers (VI) and their potential role in tourism and the work environment. VIs are not real people, but artificially created avatars that are active in social media. Like human influencers, VIs have a large community and can influence their decisions and behavior.
The role of the VI is becoming more and more important in digital marketing, as brand ambassadors they can adapt their behavior and appearance, contrary to that of their human competition, to the industry-specific characteristics. The activity of VIs manifests itself on different levels. Like human influencers, VIs can be thought leaders, promote destinations, services, brands or ideas. Their special potential lies in the fact that they can be precisely tailored to the respective brand identity and the special features of the target group. The popularity and relevance of VIs has increased massively in recent years, which is reflected in the collaboration of VIs with brands such as Samsung, Prada, Chanel or Netflix.
Due to the novelty of the topic of virtual influencers and the dynamic developments and increasing popularity, they are also likely to have a significant impact on a variety of marketing activities in tourism industry. The research interest is to explain and analyse the new phenomenon of virtual influencers and their influence on the tourism industry.