Virtual tourism was already starting to take off and with recent events, it has exploded. The ability for anybody to take virtual reality tours of famous attractions has transformed the travel industry.
With recent events causing most of the world to be stuck at home, many are predicting virtual reality travel will help transform the travel and tourism industry.
This travel technology allows anybody to see attractions, hotels, and many other features of a destination before booking a trip. While these travel tools were already being used by some travel agents before COVID-19, it’s predicted they will become even more important after things return to normal.
What is virtual tourism and how does it work?
Virtual tourism offers the ability to take a virtual tour of an attraction from home. The combination of videos and still images with multimedia, such as narration, music, and sound effects offers an immersive experience for the user.
While it’s impossible to completely replicate the experience of immersing yourself in a new location 24 hours a day, VR offers the ability to preview a destination before booking a trip. This new technology gives travelers the ability to see what they are getting into before they take a trip.
What are the benefits of virtual tourism?
The benefits of virtual reality tourism are two-fold. Both travelers and attractions benefit from using this new travel technology.
Benefits of Virtual Tourism for Travelers
For travelers, VR tours make it easier to choose the right hotel, right attractions, and even the right travel destination. With the ability to preview things you might do on a trip and where you might stay, it’s easier to make the right decision.
Along with helping with decision-making with travelers, VR technology can also help with trip planning. Instead of wondering if you’ll enjoy a specific attraction, you can see if you’ll like it. You can also use this technology to help figure out how much you need to pack based on the space provided in the hotel you choose.
Another benefit travelers may find if they cannot travel or they don’t want to actually travel is the cost. Instead of shelling out thousands on plane tickets, attraction tickets, a hotel stay, food, and other things you need for your trip, VR allows you to visit a destination without any travel costs.
Benefits of Virtual Tourism for Businesses
Hotels and attractions can use VR technology to create immersive tours of rooms, amenities, and areas within the attraction. By offering a virtual tour of a hotel, travelers can make a more informed decision.
VR tours also allow attractions and hotels an incredible marketing tool. They can share these tours on social media, their website, and through other avenues to attract travelers to their business.
Businesses will be able to set themselves apart from the competition with VR technology. There are plenty of options for travelers to choose from and becoming a leader in the virtual travel space will help one attraction or hotel stand out compared to others.
Travel Without Actually Traveling with VR Tourism
While virtual reality technology can help with trip planning, it can also allow you to travel without actually traveling. Right now, travel isn’t possible, but you can still enjoy many attractions across the world thanks to virtual tourism.
No matter the reason you cannot actually travel, VR offers an alternative. While it’s impossible to replace the in-person experience, you can still enjoy a very immersive experience with virtual reality technology.
VR Tourism Offers an Educational Tool
You can learn all about a new destination from the comfort of your home with virtual tourism. Whether you want to use a virtual tour of a foreign attraction as a teaching tool for your children or you want to learn about something new yourself, it’s possible to immerse yourself in a different culture from home.
Time Travel Has Become Possible With Virtual Tourism
Not only do you have the option to visit an attraction or destination in today’s world, but you can also travel through time. Visit reconstructed places that you cannot visit today.
Have you ever been curious about an attraction that doesn’t exist anymore? With virtual reality, you can visit things from the past that have been reconstructed specifically for VR technology.
A Safe Alternative to an Actual Trip
Nothing beats the in-person experience, but not every destination is safe for travelers. If you want to travel to a specific area of the world, but it’s not safe or the environment is rather extreme, virtual tourism offers a solution.
You can visit attractions in countries with unstable political situations. If an area is known to be dangerous for tourists, using VR technology will allow you to get an immersive experience without the risk.
A Few Top Spots to Visit Right Now with Virtual Tourism
Since it could be weeks or even months before travel is a reality again, you can enjoy some of the world’s top attractions with virtual tourism. Some of the top places you can visit from the comfort of your home include:
- The Louvre
- Guggenheim Museum
- The Kennedy Center
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Walt Disney World
- Great Wall of China
- Great Barrier Reef
- And More!
There are plenty of attractions and destinations you can enjoy with VR technology.
Is Virtual Tourism the Future?
The travel industry will rebound, but nobody really knows when. It may be hit pretty hard due to the coronavirus. While virtual tourism is certainly one of the latest travel trends, it may not be just a temporary trend.
VR technology may change the way people travel in the future, even when many people return to actually taking vacations and trips to new destinations. It’s an alternative experience those without the budget to afford an actual trip may enjoy and temporarily, virtual tourism provides a viable replacement for actual travel.