VR tourism has been around for the past several years.
Thomas Cook was among the first travel agencies to experiment with “look before you book” VR marketing. The travel industry leader gathered 360-degree film footage taken in twelve locations around the world.
And the result? A 190% increase in bookings after people viewed the VR content. No wonder Thomas Cook has continued their travel campaigns with initiatives like “Try before You Fly.”
Your VR travel experiences are not limited by travel agencies alone. There are plenty of ways you can travel using VR tourism apps, beginning with your own smartphone.
Google goes VR
One of the easiest VR tourism journeys to make is through Google Earth VR. The VR tourism version is even better than the original Google Earth. You can visit Hoover Dam, the Colosseum, and the Florence Cathedral, all in the same morning.
Or go big, and explore the streets of a city you’ve always wanted to visit. Google Earth VR lets you soar overhead like a bird or walks through streets or stand on top of buildings.
With viewers as inexpensive as seven bucks, what’s stopping you from traveling the world?
So you want to be on top of the world?
Getting on top of things
You can hand-pick your destinations as well.
For example, plenty of people want to climb Mount Everest. That’s a goal not to be taken lightly. The training is grueling, the environment is brutal, and the cost of your expedition will set you back $45,000 or more.
This journey of a lifetime may also be the last one because it’s dangerous.
Everest VR, on the other hand, takes users from base camp to summit. You’ll cross crevasses, make your way across the Khumbu Icefalls, and scale the Hillary step in an effort to grab the summit flag and see the “god-s eye view” of the world.
No sherpas, heavy clothing, or oxygen tanks required. Just your HTC Vice or Oculus Rift headset.
Like wise, if you’ve had a hankering to be a space cowboy and travel among the stars, the price is pretty steep. After all, you’re paying for training, technology and all kinds of support services. A simple round-trip ticket around Earth’s moon alone will set you back $74.7 million per person. At least meals are included.
VR tourism allows you to take a journey to the stars and back again with Titan of Space 2.0. It’s a curated excursion through our solar system. As you pilot your spacecraft and travel at your own pace.
Implications for VR tourism
With so many virtual reality simulations readily available, traveling has never been easier – or more fun.
For time-strapped travelers, VR tourism eliminates length journeys and jet lag. Visiting an exotic destination may be no more time-consuming than watch your favorite show after work. There’s no passport, no currency exchanges, and no laundry to deal with when you’re finished.
Tourism Australia recognized how important VR tourism could be for travelers considering a trip to the land down under. For most of us, that’s a long trip. We want to make sure it’s well worth the time and money spent. Now you can find out in the 360° videos that will immerse you in incredible locations.
VR tourism has many uses. In addition to providing entertainment, the virtual reality simulations do more than allow a glimpse into possible travel destinations for consumers.
Traveling for business? Companies sending advance teams to foreign locations can immerse employees in locales without leaving the office. Before they even arrive in a new city, they can learn where their hotels, conference venues, and best restaurants are.
Schools also can take advantage of VR tourism. The simulated experiences are an excellent supplement for textbooks with their limited 2D photos, and they allow students to travel on their own.
VR tourism can take you anywhere you want to go. Thomas Cook and Tourism Australia have already paved the way.