Will Virtual Reality Travel Kill the Travel Industry?

Will Virtual Reality Travel Kill the Travel Industry?

Traveling the world is a dream for many of us. It broadens your horizons because it allows you to interact with a completely new culture. Unfortunately, it’s also a costly exercise and so not always possible.

What if you could have the same experience without leaving your living room? What if you could take a virtual tour instead? Would you spend the money on the plane ticket and accommodation and battle the crowds? Or would you opt for private tours that offer a more personalized experience?

In this post, we’ll discuss whether or not virtual reality travel could kill the travel industry.

How the Tourism Industry Uses VR

It’s hard not to think back to the holodecks on Star Trek when considering virtual travel. We’re nowhere near that level of technology yet, but perhaps we might be one day. For now, businesses in the tourism industry have to stick to VR programs and virtual tours on a smaller scale.

Currently, the hospitality industry is starting to use VR in its marketing. This could be in the form of showing off their facilities or showing off a major attraction in the city. It’s a very powerful form of marketing because people can see what they’re getting.

The Case for VR Travel

  • The primary benefit would be a reduction in costs. You don’t have to worry about food, accommodation, or buying gifts for the people at home.
  • It’s not crowded. A VR tour of a museum, for example, would be filmed in optimal conditions when the museum is quiet. You don’t have to wait in line for hours for tickets or for your turn to see the Mona Lisa.
  • You don’t need shots or pills. Instead of dosing yourself against malaria before your African safari, you can relax and enjoy the experience.
  • The weather is always perfect. Tours filmed out of doors will also be shot in the best conditions.
  • There are no long flights to endure and no rushing to catch up with tour buses.
  • You can enjoy a more dangerous experience safely. Say, for example, that you wanted to see Syria. At the moment, it’s a no-go area because of the war. Now, granted, the scenery now would be horrific. If you’re interested, though, you could “travel” there without leaving home.

The Case for Real Travel

VR travel is appealing but is it really a replacement for the real thing. Yes, you’ll get to experience the sites, but in a fairly boring way. Bad weather, unexpected delays, and comradery all help to enliven the travel experience.

VR can’t possibly trump the thrill of experiencing the smells and sounds of a new city. It can’t replicate the vibe out amongst the people. VR can let you see another culture in action, but it can’t let you be part of it.

Will VR Kill Real Travel?

Looking at the way the industry is heading, we’d say it will enhance it. Tourists today are looking for authentic experiences. They’re working with private tours so that they don’t have to have the same experience everyone else does.

A VR trip might be convenient, but it’s going to be too generic. Overall, therefore, it’s unlikely that VR will kill real travel at this stage. If anyone ever comes up with a functional Star Trek holodeck, though, that could well change.

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  • Federico Portillo

    No it won't work, they can work together.

  • Paul Wales

    I like to discover new places

  • Matt Odell

    VR is a cheaper option to not travel :)

  • Cathy Sutherland

    Gets out of virtual reality: “The graphics are so good!” Real life is better.

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Vasilii Chekalov

Tech Expert

Vasilii Chekalov is a computer geek with great affinity for healthy lifestyle and weights. While not at the gym, his inquisitive mind devours information about digital marketing, outreach strategies and growth hacks. Master organizer, he knows the Α and the Ω of potent and enticing virtual presence.

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