With the continually evolving technology concerning Virtual Reality, in theory, it would be possible for an individual to have a complete tour experience through virtual reality. Although some individuals still believe that VR can never be a tourism substitute since it does not have the capability of replicating the feeling of being in nature, seeing, and breathing in an environment that is real; however, VR could challenge how the tourism industry carries out their activities. The continued development of such technology could prove to be very beneficial to individuals who are very sick or have physical handicaps; the technology could help them experience attractive destinations through virtual tours. The advancement of technology could also provide a solution to tourists who prefer high-risk activities. There are several cases where these individuals get injured or even killed while enjoying their activities. These cases could be avoided through virtual reality since these tourists can still enjoy these virtual activities.
There are areas where tourist activities are discouraged, especially in sensitive sites, for instance, habitat of native flora and fauna, wetlands, and historical sites. These measures are taken to avoid the destruction of these sites; in such instances, VR provides individuals with a way to enjoy such sites while avoiding the adverse effect of tourism. Virtual modeling and monument reconstruction helps in the preservation of heritage through the provision of a conceptual preview of a place.
Virtual reality experiences
This refers to the production of virtual tourism films, which are then played through VR headsets. They are intended to make an individual perceive that they are at the real destination as much as possible. This solution could enable individuals to have a tour of regions or sites that are restricted in terms of access or otherwise are inaccessible due to all kinds of reasons. The first virtual reality tourism films that will be produced will focus on hot springs national park. The film will involve two parts of virtual reality experience, and the first part will run for about 3 minutes 20 seconds, this will involve a fast paced virtual tour of hot springs, the second part will run for about 4 minutes, this involves a relaxing pace look at selected hots springs.
The cost of the whole solution will be broken down into various phases, which will be completed within given timelines. The first phase will be documentation which is expected to cost about $50; completion is expected within 3 to 14 days. The next phase will involve the development of the actual virtual reality film; this will cost about $1000 and will take about 1-2 months.
Virtual Hotel Tours
Identifying the best marketing strategies for their services is a major problem for most hotel businesses. Since customers are increasingly relying on the internet, it is a vital tool in marketing. This solution would enable a hotel business to demonstrate the features as well as the features that they offer. Individuals can have a virtual tour of the hotel, helping them to know what to expect, as well as how to navigate through the hotel. Consumers are increasingly utilizing the web to get information that can guide them in making their travel plans; it becomes increasingly important to provide the consumers with a realistic online perspective of the hotel. This solution will involve a series of extremely high-quality 360-degree digital photography of the hotels; these photographs are then software manipulated to create an impression of actually being there.
The cost of the solution will be broken down into the following phases. Fist documentation will be required, this will cost approximately $50, and this phase will last about 14 days. The next phase will involve the purchase of a 360 degrees angle camera for taking panoramic views, and this is approximated at about $500. The final phase involves the development of virtual tour software; this is expected to cost about $1500 and will take about 1-2 months.
Tourism in 360 degrees VR
Virtual reality is associated with CGI (computer-generated graphics). However, 360 VR is a different kind of virtual reality. This solution concentrates on the real environment as opposed to computer-generated graphics. Tourists can interact with a real environment instead of a model or simulation of the environment, making this solution ideal. An individual captures a video of the scene, which is then converted into VR material by the use of specialized software back in the studio. Other solutions make use of photographs and simple videos; however, this solution provides something that can’t be rivaled. The solution provides the consumers with an opportunity to experience a site beforehand; it provides a 360-degree view of a destination, with the individuals having the capability of moving within the artificial environment as well as interacting with its features as if they were there.
The cost will be divided into several phases. The first phase will involve documentation that is approximated at about $40; this will take about 10- 14 days. The next phase involves producing the 360-degree virtual reality video, this will amount to about $50, and this will take about 14 days. The final phase involves the production of the virtual reality software; this will cost about $2000 and will take about one month.
Considering the features associated with tourism 360 degrees VR, it is the best solution when implementing virtual reality tourism; the experience offered to individuals as they interact with the real environment also makes it’s the best solution.
Advantages of potential solution
The technology allows individuals to have an experience of visiting different sites, even those that have access restrictions through a virtual platform.
Visiting a site using virtual reality is less costly compared to the cost of traveling to these different destinations across the globe.
- Saves on time
Where one lacks time to tour various sites across the globe, virtual reality tourism becomes more sensible since one does not have to travel from one point to another.
Disadvantages of potential solution
No matter how real it looks, you can never substitute the feeling of seeing, feeling, and interacting with the real environment.
- Technical difficulties
Where the internet connectivity is not good, it can result in tourists having the worst experience when interacting with the virtual platforms while searching for various tourist destinations.
- Sensory vulnerability
For one to use virtual reality, he or she has to wear huge headsets which also cover the ears; they could also wear gloves for a better immersive experience. This leaves the individual vulnerable to accidents as well as home invasions since they are completely distracted.
- Social isolating
One usually goes through the virtual reality experience within a single user’s field of vision, hence eliminating others from physically participating alongside them.
Continued use of virtual reality could leave some individuals being desensitized in the real-world environment; these individuals can become used to certain acts such as violence.
Some scientists believe that continued use of virtual reality could result in psychological effects on some individuals; these specialists worry about the depersonalization of a human mind, where they believe that their physical body is an avatar.
Manipulation of consumers through false advertising has been a constant issue. However, these individuals have been limited to 2 dimensional, that is, until now, with capabilities to manipulate 3-dimensional environments, and these individuals have stepped up their game leading to product placement, brand integration as well as subliminal advertising.
- Privacy and data
As we continue to merge with the virtual environment, more privacy worries will have to deal with. Scientists claim that our online avatars might be used to locate or track us, That is, if they possess all our features such as our gestures, motor intentions, kinetic fingerprints, or movement signatures. This information can be exploited by malicious individuals. It is not clear what is kind of data is collectible and which is not in regards to our virtual activities.
The list is just a few of the ethical concerns. However, some of these might be disproved in the future. Regardless, these are concerns that should be looked into as virtual reality technology continues to advance. Other concerns might also emerge in the future.
VR is progressively becoming a key factor in tourism; it acts as a promotion tool as well as a tourist destination when we consider computer-generated parks, virtual museums. It is projected that with time virtual reality will be accepted and recognized as a way of satisfying travel experience demands. Virtual tourism promises a lot of benefits and especially for physically challenged individuals and those that are seriously sick.
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