As virtual technology improves, it’s natural that it opens new opportunities and use cases. It was just a matter of time when virtual reality would take upon tourism and travel. Therefore, people are asking questions like: Could virtual reality really replace holidays? Or Are we going to be able to feel deep emotions and personal connections that we get while traveling via VR? And also even Will we stay in homes and never move again thanks to new technologies? 

Moreover, people might be worried that virtual reality is here to ‘destroy’ traveling because we will have, eventually, everything encompassed in the world of amazing virtual reality. But the reality is actually different. 

The truth is that people forget that nothing can actually replace a real handshake and the thrill that comes while exploring the new culture and tasting unusual local food and drinks. That being said, virtual reality should be seen as something that is here to encourage our preparation for travel and make the traveling experience even better. 

VR in tourism

Travelling is all about the experience. In similar manners, virtual reality is also about new sensations, about new environments and new ways to interact with virtual worlds and situations. No wonder that the virtual reality took the tourism industry by storm. If you are not sure how traveling and VR are connected just imagine this:

You want to swim with whales. Only the tough of you being surrounded with the bright and see-through blue water, next to the biggest animal alive, gives you a feeling of excitement and happiness. 

However, at the same time, you have this feeling of fear that you might not be able to cope with this experience, and it just seems too much. But, if you could test that surrounding before you go, you would be able to make it easier for yourself, get to know the potential obstacles and be able to relax more when you get around to actually do it. That is how VR can help.

Challenging a sense of ‘being there.’

With everything stated above, it comes as no surprise that tourism boards were actually one of the first travel entities to embrace VR technology. 

The truth is that the VR world uses vivid imagery and sensory stimulation to generate authentic experiences. In addition to that, pure immersion in new surroundings can lead to a deeper understanding. 

After all, if you can experience something first-hand, it means more than just reading about it. This is how VR can create the feeling of ‘being there’ or a sense of ‘presence.’ However, VR can’t get you lost by going right instead of left or substitute that feeling when people look strange at you when you drink the yogurt instead of eating it. 

VR vs. Travel

Dreaming About a Beach in VR

 

What people love about VR in their traveling is the commodity. Simply said, it meant in-flight entertainment. This can cut the boredom and even prepare you for your new destination. 

On the other hand, VR can significantly protect the parts of the world that are not available for tourists anymore, or never won’t be (due to locals or nature). Even more, it can help overcrowded cities, such as Venice, to ease on their infrastructure. Also, VR can help people reach remote areas easier, and even help people with disabilities reach new parts of the world or even prepare better for their own traveling adventure. 

This leads us to the main benefit of VR in the tourism industry – choosing a destination

According to tourism agencies, around 72% of their customers find VR helping when it comes to choosing their new destination, while a significant number of clients will opt for VR while choosing their next dream place.  

Will Virtual Reality Replace Travel? – Conclusion

To sum up, VR is on the rise, and according to current trends, it shows no signs of slowing down. Therefore, every industry, especially the tourism industry, should find a way to use VR in a way that its clients can benefit the most. 

VR is definitely here to challenge the way we travel, have fun on the flight, and even help us choose our accommodation and destination. VR can be used in a way to engage us to move even more. But, will it ‘replace’ travel? 

It remains to be seen. After all, technology improves each day, and in no time, we will be probably able to climb Everest and dive deep into the ocean, from our home. But, will that be enough to challenge our urge to get out and explore for real remains to be seen.

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