The Virtual Reality Travel Industry is Booming

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Excerpt from Worth

The promise of traveling in virtual worlds is becoming a reality, that doesn’t mean it can’t still be lonely.

During the height of the pandemic, my 92-year-old mother fractured her pelvis.  Her already shrunken world became even smaller. Even so, we visited Tokyo, Anne Frank’s house, an opera, and the block where I grew up. We did it all with an Oculus Quest and the magic of virtual travel.  Was it perfect? Far from it. Mom felt claustrophobic in her headgear, disoriented in her navigation, and tired after 10 minutes in the virtual world. Nonetheless, it quickly became apparent that virtual reality and the metaverse would significantly impact the world of travel and hospitality.

According to Market Data Forecast, The Global Virtual Tourism market was worth $385.75 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to over $847.95 billion by 2028. It can take many forms, from traveling to digitally imagined worlds to trekking the Himalayas from your living room couch. Booking, planning, and building like-minded travel communities are all part of the new virtual ecosystem. The pandemic saw a new generation hungry for experiences, armed with round-the-clock connectivity, and fluent in moving between digital and physical worlds come of age.  For them, traveling in virtual worlds will be one more choice to add to their travel palette.

Try Before You Buy

Today, the most popular form of virtual tourism is a “try before you buy” model.  Available before the pandemic but gaining momentum with new audiences, services like DiscoverLive and Wowzitude both offer 100% live, interactive, and immersive tours. Both companies use cadres of expert tour guides from all over the world.  Armed with mobile phones and gimble in hand, these guides walk through the streets of Europe and the temples of India and interact with their audience as they guide.

“We cater to the culturally curious,” says Susan Black, the company’s co-founder, “both those who want to travel but can’t because of immobility or budget issues and those who are shopping for their next destination.”

Both companies use Zoom to spotlight the guide, but the guide can answer an audience question, detour into a local pastry shop, and interview people on the streets. The feeling of “live-ness” is palpable. Initially designed for the aged, differently-abled, or persons with mobility issues, programs like these are now used for everything from celebrating multicultural heritages to corporate meetings and custom events. 

“This is not like watching Youtube or a National Geographic documentary, said Tricia Norton, co-founder and CMO of DiscoverLive. “This is live, virtual travel with our tour guides worldwide.  You are there with them, experiencing, interacting, and engaging.”

Click here to read complete article at Worth.

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About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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