7 Ways Virtual Reality Will Shape the Travel Industry

While Virtual Reality (VR) may have its origins in the gaming industry, it is by no means confined to it.

In fact, VR has the potential to reshape entire industries, which is both exhilarating and a little scary. One of the industries in which VR has looming implications, is the travel industry.

The impact of augmented reality (AR) can be seen already, with the popularity of the infamous Pokémon GO. Love it or hate it, Pokémon GO has opened the door to what is possible by integrating AR with our phones. Some have caught onto this craze early, and now companies like Geckos Adventures offer a world Pokémon travel package, where travelers can fly across the world visiting iconic sites in pursuit of rare Pokémon.

The possibilities of VR and travel are endless, and to give you a small idea of just how many changes are a possible, here are 7 ways that Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality could reshape the travel industry forever:

 


 

1. Try before you buy

Imagine experiencing Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, or Antarctica, all from the comfort of your living room? VR present travelers with the opportunity to investigate places in an immersive 3D environment.  This will assist travelers on deterring or convincing them in potential travel destinations, before they have to spend money on airfares.

2. Virtual walk-throughs from anywhere

No longer limited to two-dimensional photographs and flat tours with descriptions, hotels will have to adapt to the fact that travelers will soon be able to view the hotel for themselves from home before making a booking, giving travelers the freedom to check out accommodation well in advance.

3. Showcasing room types

VRs immersive experience allows travelers to understand the difference between room types, before they arrive at the hotel, giving them a greater capacity to make the right choice for their needs. Additionally, hotels can showcase premium rooms to entice guests to upgrade their room.

4. Travel agencies can show you the world

Deciding between different remote destinations becomes easy from the comfort of a travel advisor’s office. Travel agencies can add a whole range of selling tools to their arsenal, by offering their potential customers experiences of exotic destinations in real time, right there in the store!

5. Smartphone Integration

In addition to all the apps that assist travelers with their travel research, smartphones will be transformed to VR devices as well. Samsung Gear VR is leading the pack, but Sony and HTC are close behind. The power to immerse ourselves in travel research will be at our fingertips.

6. VR Goggles will become a mainstream sales tool

With all the added experiential components, VR headsets will replace the iPad as the main sales tool at travel industry events and conferences like International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) and Virtuoso Travel Week. Look out for this shift in the coming months.

7. Traveler expectations will rise

Because VR gets a potential guest closer than ever before to “being there without actually being there,” traveler expectations will be properly set before they book. It’s then up to the best luxury hotels to pick up their game to entice would-be guests, and offer experiences that go above and beyond what we see now. The stage is set for some remarkable changes in the travel industry, and the world at large. Get ready!