Virtual Reality Applications for the Travel Industry (Part 5 of 6)

  • Sep 19, 2016

Virtual Reality: Practical Uses in the Travel and Resort Industry

In our previous posts, we explored the use of VR in education, health care, and real estate. Today, we turn our attention to the travel industry.

Imagine you are traveling overseas for the first time. You’ll encounter new airports, new cities, different languages. You’re excited, but also a little nervous. But what if you could make a “trial run”? Navigate the airport, walk the city streets, step inside your hotel room? You might feel more confident when you begin you trip.

This is not as far-fetcpexels-photo-123318-largehed as it sounds. The travel industry is beginning to adapt Virtual Reality (VR) technology to help travelers plan and prepare their trips of a lifetime.
A World of Opportunity

Until recently, the travel industry has been slow to adopt VR technology, which means there is a huge opportunity right now for early adapters. Relatively new technologies such as the Oculus Rift, GoPro, and drones make VR a viable and attractive options for anyone in the travel industry.

Use of VR technology in travel is not meant to replace physical travel with virtual travel. Rather, the goal is to market travel opportunities and entice consumers to travel more or to enhance their travel experience.

flying-people-sitting-public-transportation-mediumTravel Uses for VR

Experts see two major areas for the application of VR in the travel industry. One is travel inspiration. This demonstrates possible trips and excursions available to the traveler. Secondly, VR provides a demonstration of travel options such as hotel rooms, conference and exhibit space, dining, views, settings and amenities, and other options.

Travel Inspiration and Marketing

A few businesses already employ VR to market vacations, destinations, and experiences.

Thomas Cook: The tour operator, with offices in Belgium, Germany, and the UK, developed their “Try Before You Fly” VR program to entice consumers back into their brick and mortar stores. Recently, they filmed VR material in Egypt and mailed brochures along with cardboard goggles to targeted clients.
Marriott: The hotel chain is using VR as part of their “Travel Brilliantly” program. They offer 3 virtual experiences to market their travel destinations. They call these VR Post Cards.
Qantus: The Australian airline provides first class travelers VR experiences of Australia.
Destination BC: Offers VR experiences of various locations in British Columbia.

end-of-the-travel-1449763Travel Demonstration

There are endless possibilities for VR usage in demonstrating travel options and in the booking process.

— airlines and rail travel: demonstration of aircraft cabin or rail cars, seat selection, demonstration of business lounges.
— Hotels: demonstration of rooms, exhibit space, room selection, views, amenities and add-on services.
— Airports and train stations: provide an experience of the whole process including info desks, checkimage-29-in, security, shops, lounges, gates, boarding, transfers.
— Conference and exhibition centers: demonstration of meeting rooms, conference rooms, and exhibition space.

The travel industry is in the early stages of VR adoption, so there is a great deal of opportunity for travel agents and tour operators. Geek Tech Branding can provide you with affordable VR headsets for your organization to give to future guests and travelers. Check out our website for more information. We wrap our series in the next installment with a look at VR applications in the retail industry.