Geography Virtual Reality for Learning About Ecotourism and Rural Sustainability


Tourism has an essential role in economic development through improving people’s welfare. However, tourism activities are vulnerable to global issues, one of which is the COVID-19 pandemic. Social restrictions on economic activity have implications for the sustainability of tourism. One effective strategy to maintain tourism sustainability in regional development can be achieved through education channels by packaging the concept of tourism into virtual reality (VR) 3600-assisted learning materials. This study aimed to develop VR 360∘ media in supporting geography learning on sustainable ecotourism. This was development research using the PLOMP model, which consisted of 3 stages: (1) preliminary research; (2) prototype design and development; and (3) evaluation. The results showed that the VR 3600 media helped the student’s learning process actively and independently through interaction with 3600 panoramic projections and multimedia. Immersive learning experiences involving complex thinking and contextual reflection were formed through the VR 360∘-assisted learning activities with learning outcomes of a) information literacy, b) exploration, and c) reflection on the content of sustainable ecotourism. Learning activities engaged through the virtual environment are expected to foster a good understanding in the student environment of the importance of managing and developing ecotourism in supporting rural sustainability.

Keywords: mobile immersive, geography, virtual reality 360∘, ecotourism, rural sustainability

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