VR Tourism, Holidays at home; new way to travel?
Tourism is usually about exploring the world and finding personal connections between us and everything around the location. People create memories that can be recalled and reflected upon and shared for lifetime. With the evolution of VR technologies, tourism can be integrated with physical and virtual worlds. As shown in Black Mirror episode “San Junipero” with use of technology virtual travel can be felt like the real world. Of course, there is a lot of development needed in VR field to get there but we are on the path. Virtual tourism can help preserve these precious sites. It gives the ability to explore threatened locations and locations that are harder to get to. This can really provide an opportunity to explore a location to someone that is disabled to physically get there.
VR gives you access to thousands of destinations around the world on your fingertips. Our brain has VR like inbuilt mechanisms that allows us to live imagined experiences. VR will propel this imagination and the brain process these images through same neural pathways as they do when they stimuli the real world. This will justify the experience and make it extremely close to “being there”. Although VR equipment is expensive it’s nowhere compared to high flight fares and hotel costs. Once main steamed high end VR equipment will be more budget-friendly allowing more people on budget to explore. Overall this can be more sustainable for the tourist sites and the environment around globally as it leads to fewer emissions and waste. VR experience of a location can be integrated such that it is interactive to the user and shows all the necessary information about a location with reliable credibility within the virtual world. This can disrupt many industries along with hospitality and tourism.
Image from black mirror episode “San Junipero”