The coronavirus has halted almost 90 percent of travel and tourism worldwide. This has not only affected businesses that rely on travel but also stopped the circulation of culture through experience.
However, what if we tell you there’s still a way for you to get a tour of some of the iconic landmarks and destinations while being in the comfort of your own home?
A way to still enjoy yourself and learn about the culture of a country you were planning to visit?
This is made possible by virtual reality and the recent breakthrough that made VR travel and tourism possible.
Virtual Travel (VR) – What Is It?
The concept of traveling through the use of virtual reality is foreign to most people. Since virtual reality is relatively new and being polished day by day, not everyone knows what it is.
As the name implies, VR traveling allows people who are stuck at home to travel to places like the Galapagos or other areas that support the feature. This makes traveling possible even with the coronavirus still at large.
Benefits of VR Travel
First of all, VR travel helps support tourism businesses that perished because of the coronavirus outbreak. This also helps to get people intrigued and interested in the areas visited by virtual reality. It would give tourism a huge boost after taking a heavy hit from the travel ban.
VR travel fixes the over-tourism problem that we’ve always had. With VR travel, even after the pandemic, people eager to visit these places or even locals won’t have to be bothered by a large number of tourists.
VR travel is also a lot more eco-friendly since you don’t have to deal with a crowd of tourists leaving trash everywhere.
Is Virtual Travel Sustainable
For quite a while now, VR travel has been considered as more like a gimmick. A quick taste or a look at places that people are planning to visit. It’s being seen as more of a trial rather than the entire trip and something that will die down after the lockdown and travel ban.
Indeed, there’s still a long way to go before VR travel can be treated as a real deal, it can still be sustainable and improved further along the line.
So far, VR travel has a lot of flaws. It’s expensive since you’d have to buy a VR headset to experience it and it only cates your sight and hearing. That’s the only two out of six senses you would experience on a real trip.
VR also typically only lasts a few minutes or hours and the headset can cause nausea. That doesn’t compare to a week-long vacation in Spain or in the Maldives!
However, it is a lot cheaper than going to these places and could provide additional knowledge before you set forth and travel. The potential of VR travel is honestly close to limitless.
Inherent Sense of Adventure
When you’re a tourist, what you’re looking for is an adventure. You want to experience everything that the city has to offer in the little time you have before going home. You want to create stories and moments that you’ll never forget.
Unlike business trips, locals, or people on vacation; you are less directed and planned, you aim to seek adventure and the discovery of a foreign country culture! This is something that cannot be replicated by virtual reality.
The experience you get from actually doing things yourself and experiencing everything using your six senses can only be done in real life. A demo of India or the UK can be adjusted to make it look better than this.
Seeing a place through a screen is different from feeling the breeze, smelling the air, and interacting with the locals on an actual tour.
The Future of Virtual Reality
VR travel has its fair share of pros and cons. The possibility of it being an alternative to actual tourism is slim, but it could still be used in other ways.
It is a greener alternative and people conscious of reducing our carbon footprint will see VR travel as the main choice instead of an alternative. The reduced labor, fuel use, garbage, and other factors could be a huge step for humanity.
This could also be used to make people who can’t visit these places the opportunity to at least see it and experience it. People with disabilities or who are bed-ridden can experience the views of places they want to visit.
The bar is set relatively low and at the end of the day, the only way to know how effective virtual travel will be is through developments.
Virtual travel is not going to die down anytime soon and with breakthroughs coming in and changes being added, who knows how much it can change tourism in the next ten years?