Augmented and Virtual Reality in Tourism and Hospitality
Posted date: September 28, 2017
What It Really Means
Virtual reality was created as an alternative to the objective reality in which we are bound to live. Today, the term "virtual reality" has become commonplace. It is used to determine a whole variety of technologies and applications, which create a sense of being in a real world. It can be used as a game, or it can be presented as a professional application. No matter what form or kind it takes, it is a great chance for every user to feel as if he or she is ruling the world.
Today, every aspect of life is influenced by technologies. You cannot imagine yourself without using at least one technology at any moment of time. At some point, you are talking with a friend using your mobile phone. At the other point, you are using a microwave to get your lunch warmer. Virtual and augmented reality applications are also omnipresent. They are everywhere, and it is not difficult to ignore their meaning. Virtual and augmented reality is reshaping the very basic view on tourism and hospitality of the future, and one cannot stop these trends.
Virtual and Augmented Reality in Tourism and Hospitality
In the past two decades, the tourism and hospitality industry underwent a serious change. With the growing number of hotels and catering facilities around the globe, more business owners decided that virtual reality could benefit them and their workers. Those trends were further supported by the rise of the Internet, which greatly contributed to the rapid advancement of marketing, management, and customer service applications. Today's consumers have no difficulty purchasing and using tourism services online. Moreover, they can use virtual reality applications to place themselves in a world of tourism and try to understand how they will feel in this or that destination or place.
Using Virtual Reality for Growth in the Tourism Sector
Contemporary researchers agree that virtual reality can find a whole set of useful applications in tourism. Its popularity continues to increase, and its practice utility is much greater than ten or twenty years ago. In fact, it is possible to expect that the combination of virtual reality, augmented reality, and real world solutions will become a typical encounter for tourists of the future. In other words, consumers will be able to choose the experiences they want to enjoy the most without even leaving their homes.
Virtual Reality Tourism
With the help of virtual and augmented reality applications, businesses in the tourism industry can easily integrate realistic images and animated options into the information packages they prepare for their customers. This blend of reality and animated applications, images, and approaches attracts new customers and creates a positive image of the tourism sector. It is possible to say that it is with the help of virtual reality and augmented reality solutions that businesses in tourism and hospitality invite new tourists, no matter how experienced they are, to taste the advantages of computer technologies and choose a service or trip according to their needs. It is no secret that most customers want to be confident that the things, items, or services they are purchasing online will not disappoint them. It is like going to a store to taste cookies before ordering a holiday cake. Virtual and augmented reality applications add a sense of realism, by exposing tourists to rich visual and perceptual information about the tour they plan to purchase or order online. The good thing about virtual reality applications is that they can use in any type of product or service. For example, business owners can advertise their gym facilities, by allowing users to try something they would really like to do or feel when they pay their money.
As I was doing this research, I discovered that the virtual and augmented reality applications were successfully used by many tourist service providers. They created live videos, engaged customers and users in interactive activities, and managed to entertain future clients, thus increasing their motivation to buy their products and services. Virtual reality applications are becoming even more effective and useful, as users access tourist websites with their smartphones. In other words, as the information about tourism becomes more accessible to users, virtual and augmented reality applications greatly contribute to the development of the tourism and hospitality industry. For example, potential customers can easily access and review advertising videos and materials while they are going to the office by bus or as they are sitting in front of their home computers.
How Can Virtual Reality Improve the Tourism Industry?
Today, it is clear that virtual reality can provide the best conditions for managing and improving the tourism and hospitality industry. One of the greatest things virtual reality can do is building consumers' confidence that the services they want to purchase are of the highest quality. Once they have tasted them, they will not want to use anything else.
Virtual reality is just the starting point in advancing the mission of tourism and hospitality around the globe. Hotels and other facilities in the tourism industry adopt other sophisticated technologies such as computerized reservation systems to make the whole process of purchasing tourist services much more convenient and cost-effective. Virtual reality contributes to the development of effective websites, which are visible, attractive, vivid, realistic, and fascinating. They are so realistic that few customers can escape the temptation to buy a tourist package from the business owners using these applications.
Now after a brief review of virtual reality applications and augmented reality use in the tourism and hospitality industry, it is clear that every business owner can greatly benefit from using these systems in practice. Customers know how to use technologies. They enjoy the accessibility and variability of tourism and hospitality services. They also want to be sure that the money they pay from their pockets will not disappear. Virtual reality is a guarantee of quality and trust. It engages customers in a diversity of great experiences, which motivate them to purchase the best services offered by the tourism sector.