Summary: Covid-19 has created unpredictable and unforeseen changes and chunks in the tourism industry. Eric J Dalius talks about imbibing new methods and methodologies to revamp it.
The pandemic has propelled some unique changes, not just by caging the whole world, but also bringing the outside indoors. As almost every travel avenue has gone kaput over the last few months, and with more uncertainty and obscurity revolving around safe and hygienic travel in the immediate future, Virtual Reality or VR has entered the scene.
It’s fast gaining traction as it enables you to explore the world’s remotest parts from your bedroom, sans any visa hassles. For the average wanderer, virtual tours have become a messiah as it offers a keyhole entry to museums and national parks, to hilly terrains and entire metros. VR isn’t confined to just tours as we write this article.
- Family reunions, corporate meetings, and leisure/fun activities; everything is in the virtual world right now.
- VR is all set to change the world of communications. A trip to Antarctica could look as routine and customary as an outing in Miami beach!
- With consumer uncertainty denting the tourism business, it’s a good scope to channelize VR. Travel companies can use it as a supplementary tool to clear any doubt or confusion about booking.
- It can give the travel firms a much-needed edge during the pandemic, business expert Eric Dalius opines.
Travel the world and the seven seas
VR-based technologies use 360 degree clippings of tourist destinations and people view them on a dedicated VR headset. Industry leaders feel it can substitute or at least partially fill the void of real trips, helping you plan or dream of the next travel/vacation.
- The latest surveys show that the time is ripe for tourism companies to create a parallel business methodology and economy, including 360 video content creators and tourist guides. It could be the new normal.
- A recent traveller survey showed that more than 505 of the concerned respondents were ready to pay for virtual reality-driven tourism.
- The perception of people about experiencing and using immersive technologies like Extended, Augmented and Virtual Reality in tourism and travels is fast changing.
Eric J Dalius rightly says that VR based tourism can never replace traditional tourism. However, it can enable, bolster and fuel regular tourism, especially when the tourism sector needs relief, rejuvenation and revamp.
Marketers on the scope
VR has the potential to create awareness about the tourist destination in a gripping way. It can set a place apart from the rest in a globally competitive and dwindling market. You need to use it strategically, asserts EJ Dalius.
- Digital executives are hopeful that virtual reality could attract international tourists and inform them about a city product/specialty.
- For tourism companies, it’s imperative to keep an edge, and the ability to beat your competitors is a key market growth driver.
However, the challenge is to integrate VR technology very fast with existing channels of communication, such as social media and websites. Since they primarily thrive online, travel marketing firms need to find a way to produce compelling experiences.