So the answer to the question that virtual reality replaces real travel is no. Virtual reality may never replace traditional travel, but it still offers intriguing possibilities. If technology becomes sophisticated enough, the most environmentally conscious among us, especially those looking to reduce our carbon footprint (or people sensitive to flight embarrassment) might prefer this form of escape. VR travel brings parts of the world closer to people who can't physically visit certain landmarks.
Above all, it could help take people to places that would otherwise be inaccessible. If VR can improve enough to allow a similar, or at least permissible, level of trust in interaction, it can replace a large percentage of business travel. One day, shaking hands in the digital world will be as important as a physical handshake. Finally, virtual reality offers hotels, travel agencies and other companies in the tourism industry the opportunity to offer potential customers a virtual travel experience.
In the absence of travelers, tourism boards, hotels and destinations have turned to virtual reality (VR), a technology that is still in its relative infancy, to keep potential visitors engaged and prepare for the long road to recovery. Although there is a wealth of literature on virtual reality and virtual environments, the classic approach to the technology acceptance model is not easily applicable to interactive technology. They can offer potential customers virtual in-store travel experiences that completely transform what it means to visit a travel agency. In the travel industry, virtual reality can be used to capture tourist destinations in a unique and immersive way.
In a virtual experience, you can't choose to wander down a side street and discover a charming café unless those options are already programmed. Still, there is a big gap between using VR to “try before you buy” and treating VR as the destination itself. You can also explore virtual travel experiences through Google Earth VR, Oculus and Immerse from The Hydrous. Some companies have taken the use of virtual reality one step further, offering a complete booking process and a user interface that can be experienced through a virtual reality headset.
For example, a hotel in Paris can offer a virtual experience of what it's like to be atop the Eiffel Tower, while a hotel near a theme park can offer a virtual roller coaster experience. VR solutions for the tourism industry are helping to change the way people interact with travel companies at all stages of the customer journey. Instead of showing visitors brochures and computer screens, travel agents can offer their customers a virtual experience. Virtual reality technology generally involves the use of a virtual reality headset, which helps immerse the user in a digital environment.
The results revealed that perceived utility has a strong direct effect on behavioral intention, indicating the intention of tourists to use virtual reality to travel virtually during and even after a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. This Earth Day, people who tend to celebrate when going outdoors may need to rely on virtual tours instead. Companies like First Airlines offer immersive virtual reality travel “trips to places like Hawaii, Rome and Paris.