I’ve seen the Great Wall of China, elephants grazing on the plains of Namibia…
…the thundering waterfalls of Venezuela’s Angel Falls and looked over across Table Mountain in Cape Town. And that’s all without leaving the comfort of my own home, thanks to the popularity of travel pictures on Instagram.
But the travel industry isn’t stopping there with the introduction of the Virtual Reality (VR) concept that’s rapidly picking up the pace.
Companies, resorts, tourism boards and destinations are developing totally immersive experiences for the wannabe tourist right through to the seasoned traveller.
VR introduces a binocular-like viewing device which gets strapped on your face to fully envelope you in the new reality and this is something you can buy into for a fraction of the cost of a holiday.
The Samsung Gear VR sells for around £99 with apps costing as little as £2.99. Google have gone one up on that however and introduced Google Cardboard which quite literally is made out of cardboard and a total bargain at £15. Download the app to your phone, slip it in the viewer and away you go.
Travel agencies are getting in on the hype too:
Thomas Cook Group have introduced ‘try before you fly’ VR videos offering an insight to Egypt, Singapore and more.
Australia’s Qantas Airlines have created the first in-flight VR experience which enables you to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or helicopter over Hamilton Island. Speaking of flying, Vegas VR lets you fly over the Strip and ‘drops you into the middle of dozens of only-in-Vegas scenes.’
Virtual Reality gives you the chance to escape from the 9-5 dreariness that inspires us to travel.
Technological advances like these make travel even more accessible to even more people, regardless of money (which we all know is the deciding factor in travel!)
And whilst cost-saving, VR is just that. Virtual.
But ultimately, travel isn’t just about the seeing places. It’s feeling them, and smelling them, and experiencing them first hand. We’re hoping that virtual reality tourism kicks off in a way to include more people in seeing the beauty of all corners of the world. VR is a great way to introduce a destination but definitely not a way of replacing good old fashioned travel. So, on that note, I’m off to Instagram more pictures of elephants.