Just because the pandemic is ravaging the planet does not mean the fun should stop. If you love traveling, for instance, this is the time to turn to virtual tourism.
This 21st-century technology provides you with a way to explore an attraction site without actually setting foot in it!
At the moment, there are lots of travel restrictions in many countries; hence, traveling may not be as convenient as it used to be before covid-19.
This means VR travel is, perhaps, the only viable way to continue experiencing the adventures of the world.
But is it as fun as the tourism we are used to? And does it have any disadvantages?
Also, is there a rise in the popularity of virtual tourism in covid-19?
Let’s find out!
What Is Virtual Tourism?
In a virtual tour, an existing place is simulated. Videos and still images are combined with multimedia such as sound effects, music, and narration to give you an immersive experience.
Ideally, virtual travel gives you a chance to preview your destination before you book a trip.
This means you will know exactly what you are getting into, which is great, especially if you do not like surprises.
Although VR has been around for quite some time, the pandemic has made it more popular than before.
And its popularity keeps growing; thanks to the following benefits.
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Advantages of Virtual Tourism (Pros)
1. You get a chance to know the location well before landing
Yes, we have just talked about this. Virtual reality in tourism provides you with a chance to know your destination before touching down. Since this technology creates an immersive experience (which is way better than pictures), you will know the culture and way of life of a town even before you visit it physically.
This means you will feel like you belong once you set foot in that town. And a feeling of belonging equals more comfort.
2. Virtual Tourism Can come in handy when your plane is grounded
Nothing is as frustrating and frightening in equal measure as being in a plane grounded for an unspecified period. But, hey! You are in the 21st century where VR technology is at your disposal.
In the unfortunate event your plane cannot take off because of one reason or another, simply utilize the technology. Through it, you will see how beautiful the other side of the world is. And this might be enough to bring back all the excitement you had when boarding the plane.
3. Travel companies and agencies can use travel tourism to attract more clients
Before VR came to the picture, most travel companies used recorded videos and pictures to convince their clients to book a flight and visit places of their interest. While this eliminated the mystery of visiting a place you have never been to before, it was not as effective as virtual reality.
With virtual reality, people get real experience albeit without interacting physically with those places. Clients are, therefore, able to make a decision about whether they still want to visit these holiday destinations or prefer a new location.
Virtual reality also improves trust between customers and travel agencies/operators. This, in turn, leads to more traffic, and, hence, more profits.
4. Virtual tourism helps you plan appropriately
Have you ever been on a vacation and when it ends you feel it was too short? Worst still, you realize on your way back home that you have missed several key attraction sites.
Well, poor planning is to blame for this.
However, with virtual reality in tourism, planning ahead of your trip to a particular city should not be a thing of concern. This 21st-century technology allows you to have the names and locations of key sites to visit. This, therefore, means you will get the most out of your adventures.
5. Lets you know how much you need to pack
Nothing is as inconveniencing as carrying a lot of stuff to your holiday destination only to find out that the hotel you are supposed to reside in is too small to accommodate everything you have brought along.
VR comes in handy in a situation like this. It will show you the number of closets in your hotel room, the size of the bathroom, and whether there is an extra space in your room.
By so doing, VR ensures you know exactly what to carry and what to leave behind when traveling.
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Disadvantages of Virtual Tourism (Cons)
The following are the disadvantages of virtual tours.
1. Virtual tourism cuts off human connection
Traveling is not all about seeing magnificent buildings and historic monuments. It also involves interacting with the locals.
Well, with virtual reality, this is pretty impossible – you will not be able to interact with the people of that particular place as much as you would like to.
Also, if you have a travel buddy, the experience may not be as fun as when both of you travel to a place physically.
VR also denies you a chance to enjoy the local cuisine of a place you have “visited”. Furthermore, you will not experience the wonderful cultures first-hand.
2. Can ruin the moment
There is something about visiting a place physically for the first time. You are likely to bond with that place, and this will remain in your memory almost (if not) forever.
VR allows you to experience the vibe of these places without setting foot in them. While this is great in terms of convenience, it might be a real spoiler. It will feel like you are revisiting a dream in the event you choose to visit these places physically.
The situation is even worse when you like surprises. VR eliminates them all (including pleasant ones) by showing you everything about the location of your interest.
3. Virtual travel is pretty expensive
As it is the case with any advanced technology, VR is quite costly. Imagine if every household in the whole world was to have at least one VR gadget; billions of dollars will be spent, right?
Also, the fact that it is expensive means the majority of middle-class people will not be able to afford it.
Well, those are the challenges of virtual tourism.
Now, let’s look at some of the places that offer it.
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Virtual Tourism Examples
Many iconic locations now offer VR tours. This means visiting world heritage sites, museums, and other fantastic locations is now a no-brainer.
Here are examples of virtual tourism.
1. Machu Picchu, Andes Mountains, Peru
You will experience a 360-degree view of lush green landscapes and the ruins of Inca settlements when you visit this site via VR. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
2. The National Museum of Computing, Milton Keynes, UK
The world’s largest collection of historic computers is found here. And since the museum offers a virtual 3D tour, expect to zoom in on each detail of the exhibit and learn more about the history of computers.
3. The British Museum, London
This museum has almost 50 online exhibits to view. It gives you a chance to explore the history of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning) as well as Bonaparte and the history of waterloo.
4. The Louvre Museum, Paris
Millions of tourists visit this attraction site in person annually. It boasts remarkable Egyptian antiquities, decorative arts of the Galerie d’Apollon, and The Remains of the Louvre’s Moat.
5. The Vatican, Rome
The Vatican is also within your virtual reach. It is filled with historic monuments and insanely beautiful architecture.
Other locations you can visit via VR technology are:
- Musee d’Orsay, Paris
- The Royal Academy of Arts, London
- Athens Acropolis, Athens
- Georgia Aquarium, Georgia, USA
Virtual Tourism Conclusion
Virtual tourism is gaining popularity at an incredible rate; thanks to covid-19.
While there are negative impacts of virtual reality in tourism, in our opinion, they are not tangible enough to make you change your mind about utilizing this advanced technology to explore different places on earth.
Moreover, Virtual reality tourism can be incorporated into normal tourism to make tours and travel even better than ever before.
That’s all we had for you in this virtual tour essay.
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