Virtual tourism. Another way to sell tourist experiences.
With the emergence of new technologies, users have been changing our way of life, our way of consuming. And this is not something that is going to stabilize in the long term, because new technologies are a drifting train with more and more wagons that new generations are not afraid to get on.
For this reason, all industries have their sights set on this sector, mainly the tourism industry. One that has always benefited from technology when it comes to minimizing time and costs, thus promoting greater consumption.
The Internet, for example, has opened the doors for us by making it easier for users to document their travels. It is becoming easier and easier to book transport and accommodation online. And it is possible to know the destination without having been there. But now the new technologies offer us a new escape that we must explore: virtual reality in tourism or virtual tourism.
And how do we apply virtual reality to tourism?
To remain competitive in the long term, attract a wider audience and meet the demands and expectations of new generations of tourists, travel companies have to integrate new technologies, improve their interactive content and implement it in their marketing strategies.
Basically, we could say that with virtual reality we can present the information of our tourism products and services in a different way, much more striking. Because this new system has a positive influence on two of the most important processes within the purchase cycle of the traveller’s journey.
In the process of searching for information or planning.
By using virtual reality in marketing strategies, you can have a great influence on the process of finding information from potential or repeated tourists. For example, virtual reality can offer the tourist access to information about the destination in a much more accurate and reliable way than traditional promotional material.
Thus, virtual reality can offer users a greater media richness, interactivity and a sense of virtual presence that also enhances consumer learning and respect for the destination.
In the process of decision making or booking.
On the other hand, we are faced with the fact that the purchase or booking process is mainly rational. That is to say, in this process, complex in itself, the consumer takes into account from the choice of destination, to the price and the activities that can be carried out. That’s why quality information is so important.
For example, with the 360º visits, the tourist could at least explore and experience a specific experience (destination, hotel, etc.) to assess if it will be satisfactory, or if it does not provoke enough emotion to carry out the reservation. Emotions are also very important to influence the decision-making process of tourists.
Virtual reality is capable of activating emotions by stimulating the senses of users. Because with virtual reality users are able to interact within the experience. This creates a great opportunity for the entire travel industry, especially for tourist destinations.
But is there business for virtual reality in tourism?
Virtual reality has been entering tourism with Google Maps and 360º visits. Yes, it is true, in such a modest way, that perhaps it is not what we understand as virtual reality. But virtual tourism is still a controversial issue today.
Can we really consider tourism to those experiences that do not move us from the sofa? Perhaps the most purists consider that traditional tourism can never be replaced by virtual reality. But what do the new generations of tourists think? The future is the tourism of personalized experiences, and these can be experienced at any time and place.
In fact, virtual reality is a technology that drinks directly from the video game industry, from entertainment. And as we already know, this is a multi-million dollar industry that manages to increase its profits every year due to its versatility and ease of consumption.