Many travellers had to change their plans and stay at home because of the strict travel restrictions brought about by Covid-19 pandemic. The most acclaimed sights, once crowded by tourists, lay dormant, with hotels and pensions staying empty. How can virtual reality be helpful? Read on to find out more.
Alternative Travelling in Virtual Reality
The statistics are bleak, with airlines carrying only about 10-15% of the usual volume of travellers. Millions of jobs associated with tourism disappeared and millions more are at risk. The pandemic can go on for longer than expected. And even when it is over, it might be very difficult to renew all the service in travel and tourism since many might be reluctant to go back to a sector that can be affected so much in case a pandemic hits again.
Under these conditions, many are starting to view VR differently. Virtual reality was once seen as a toy, but now it is seen as an extremely useful tool and a great solution.
See the Sights in VR Before You Travel
And even if you can travel, it might be a good idea to have a look at some sights before you finally take the plunge to travel to your chosen destination. For example, the Google Arts & Culture Program offers a myriad of items, reproductions, and 2D street view tours from over 2,000 leading museums and archives. Now everyone can walk through the selected places in virtual reality. All you need is a web browser or a mobile phone.
The impetus for starting the project was, among other things, the gradual destruction of monuments, whether by human actions or natural phenomena. In 2016, for example, the temples in Myanmar were damaged, but thanks to a previous scan, it was possible to at least rebuild them virtually.
Other places include Chichen Itza in Mexico and Al Azem Palace in Syria. 3D models, photos, videos and, in some sections, audio guides are available. You can enjoy historical sites as if you were there. You can walk around and enter the pyramids in Egypt, stroll through the cities and towns in the Middle Ages, and experience historical milestones in person.
VR for Lifelike Sightseeing
There are 2 types of virtual reality tourism videos:
- 2D VR Tourism Videos: 2D VR videos can be viewed on regular devices including your smartphone. You can tap, click, scroll or swipe across the video to rotate the field of view, similar to turning your head to explore a scene.
- 3D VR Tourism Videos: 3D VR videos are made for VR headsets (e.g. Oculus), so you cannot view them on your smartphone. While these videos take more time to produce and are usually more expensive to produce, they provide a lifelike immersive experience. They make you feel like being right there.
VICTORIA VR uses photorealistic 3D VR videos to give you the best lifelike immersive experience from sightseeing.
Applications of Virtual Reality in Tourism and Sightseeing
Photorealistic virtual reality gives you the possibility to experience your favorite sights in a way that hasn’t been possible with any other technology before. Once you visit these locations in virtual reality, you might want to decide which of those you would like to travel to and experience in person.
The applications of VR in tourism include:
- VR Sightseeing Tours: How much time and travelling would it take you to see the most acclaimed sights? What if you could first visit these places in virtual reality and then decide where you want to go there in person?
- VR National Parks Tours: The most wonderful parks and natural wonders are all around the world – in Europe, in the USA, in South America, in Africa, in Asia. It is doubtful you could visit all of them in person. With virtual reality, you could experience most of them.
- VR Museum Tours: Many enthusiasts need an entire week to explore all the wonderful exhibits in Le Louvre, Paris, France, and another week to admire all the historical treasures in the British Museum, London, United Kingdom. With museum exhibits, it might be better if you don’t have to rush through the museum premises and if you can explore them one by one at your own leisure.
- VR Hotel Tours: Most, if not all, hotels display their rooms and facilities on their website as photos. Virtual reality hotel tours can offset any unpleasant surprises in case the pictures don’t coincide with reality.
- VR Festival Tours: The Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, King’s Day in Netherlands, Diwali in India, Songkran Festival in Thailand, and many others. So many things to see and enjoy. With VR, it is much easier.
- VR Scuba Diving Tours: With VR, you can experience all the underwater world has to offer and can connect to the ocean without putting on the diving gear and without watching movies about scuba diving. This could be a great option if you cannot do scuba diving or if you are just starting.
These are just examples of categories that fit into the field of tourism and sightseeing. You can think of some more that are of special interest to you and add them to this list. Whatever you can imagine, you can have it in virtual reality. And VICTORIA VR is here to help you launch your first VR project.
VICTORIA VR is here for you to enjoy your sightseeing and tourism in virtual reality.