Tourism has for a long time been one of the most advanced industries in terms of technology. But how does its future look when we can transport people anywhere in the world instantly?
We believe that VR is going to have a big impact on tourism and that spatial reality portals can play an important part in this transition. With spatial portals you can walk through a historical recreation of King Tut’s tomb or visit the Great Wall of China with your whole family as if you were really there. You won’t need to book a plane ticket or worry about tickets, baggage fees or missing out on the best photo spots.
Take a virtual holiday
Obviously, COVID-19 has put a dampener on virtually everyone wanting to take a trip abroad this past summer. But who says it means you have to miss out on the experience?
We have big visions for what portals for tourism and hospitality can look in the future: for example, what if you could really feel like you’re staying in a hot country when your virtual environment is complete with temperature and airflow control for climate simulation?
Want to get a feel of the hotel you’re thinking of staying at? Two-dimensional pictures on a website or in a travel review can only give you so much of the picture.
Holiday Inn Express in Australia have produced a 360-degree video where viewers can look around the rooms and services of their accommodation, with commentary on key features.
Now just imagine how engaging a virtual hotel tour in a spatial portal could be…
Have you ever used Google Maps to look up new and familiar places? Have you ever found yourself struggling to picture where places are in your mind’s eye, and relied on good old Street View to give you a helping hand? Well, imagine if we had something like that for tourist destinations we can’t easily navigate with Google Maps…
Several tourist spots have already started offering potential visitors virtual 360° tours, where they could navigate at their own pace, including the Vatican Museum, the National Gallery in London and even Barcelona beaches (I’m not too sure about being able to swim in the virtual sea, though).
Bring it all in at once
At the ITB Berlin conference in 2015, German airline Lufthansa offered visitors a unique 360° experience through virtual reality at their exhibition that really summed up what a holiday was all about without having to book one! Users were taken on a journey from being on a Lufthansa plane where they could interact with a flight attendant and virtual objects, to their destination – relaxing on a tranquil San Francisco beach.
Towards the end of the experience, everyone who took part received a physical postcard, which they could actually send to loved ones around the world!