The Travel Industry Is Facing a New Reality: Virtual
The “cognoscenti” said that 2016 was going to be THE year for virtual reality. And it was. Last year saw a huge move in mass awareness with new headsets upgraded from Google Cardboard that teased the public with what VR could be with advanced (approaching affordable) mass produced equipment. Tours.com saw this burgeoning technology and how it was creeping into the travel industry. “I could see that VR was going to be eventually huge in the travel space, with a dramatic impact on how travel is sold and distributed, but there was so much information out there that it was hard for the industry, always speeding along, to know what the potential was and who was doing what. That’s why we started VR Tourism News — the only VR newsletter curated specifically for the industry,” said Maria Polk, CEO of Tours.com.
VR started becoming the buzzword in tourism indeed. The 360 degree video really caught on with hundreds of hotels and destinations allowing them to showcase their wares in a whole new light. Attractions moved into the VR space quickly with new interactive experiences and amazing new roller coasters that added VR thrills on top of the heart clutching excitement.
So now the buzz is that 2017 is THE year. It is certainly shaping up to be that way in the travel industry. Last year saw the proliferation of 360 degree videos and this year more companies and destinations are incorporating VR and AR (augmented reality) from consumer pre-sell to the on land experience as well as in the air. The last issue of VR Tourism News reported that United, XL Airways and Air France have all just started experimenting with offering VR headsets to passengers on long flights. Will long haul travel ever be the same?
Each issue of VR Tourism News details specific companies that are utilizing the technology as well as what industry leaders are saying about the future of VR and AR, the technology that Steve Jobs thinks will be more widely adopted into our lives faster than VR will be. Deborah Reinow, Executive Editor, stated, “You can see how effective AR could be for travel promotion — just look at the viral impact of Pokémon Go, an AR worldwide phenomenon. It’s definitely on the minds of tourism marketers.”
About us: Tours.com is the parent company of two well established tourism websites and 3 trade newsletters. Tours.com, the only Worldwide Directory of Tours and Vacations, provides a deep and searchable worldwide database of tour and vacation operators. Sightseeing.com is the resource for local sightseeing and attractions around the world. Trade newsletters include: VR Tourism News — The 1st VR Newsletter Exclusively for the Travel Industry, Travel-Intel a weekly compendium for retail agents with a circulation of 103,000+ to North American Travel Agents and Sightseeing News & Views. Tours.com celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015.