Virtual Reality in Tourism: The Ultimate ‘Try Before You Buy’

Virtual reality in tourism is huge at the moment. People get to visit their dream holiday destination without leaving the comfort of our their home. They get to see a full 360-degree view of the different locations. They get to experience their hotel rooms before booking it. This is virtual tourism. It happens when a person is completely immersed in an interactive virtual environment that he/she sees through a headset.

Who benefits from virtual tourism?

Virtual reality technology makes this a win-win situation for businesses and their customers.

VR helps the businesses in the tourism industry that embraces it. It makes a difference especially to smaller and less well-known businesses, as travellers get to notice them and their services.

Travel agencies that offer a stunning full 360-degree view of the different locations easily convert their prospects into clients. For one, VR helps the client choose the best tour package based on their budget. It sets their expectations. Second, VR helps the agency give the best client experience, which creates a positive perception of their business and increases the level of trust in them.

Hotels and accommodation businesses also benefit from virtual tourism. Immersive and interactive VR technology allows them to present themselves to their online prospects in a better way. With VR, their potential guests get to explore and experience the place before booking.

Virtual reality also enhances a person’s vacation. It enables the person to go to a place that he/she can’t go to physically.

With VR, people with disability can see and experience breathtaking views — even dangerous ones.

It allows anybody to go back in time or fast forward into the future.

It also lets people interact with interesting, precious things like historical artefacts. This is great, especially to people who favour visiting museums during their vacation.

“The one thing that really frustrates you in a museum is when you see something really fascinating, you don’t want to be separated from it by the glass. You want to be able to look at it and see the back of it and turn it around and so on,” says David Attenborough, an English broadcaster and natural historian.

How common is virtual tourism?

It’s not yet common. There’s a lot more potential for virtual tourism.

Businesses in the tourism industry must take advantage of this, especially when all their competitors haven’t embraced VR technology. When they are the first to integrate this tech into their business, they will surely get a huge competitive advantage.