Virtual reality technology is advancing every day. There is always something new and exciting to discover. By placing these futuristic goggles on your head, you can feel transported to countless different locations. And we’re here to offer a practical use to this pastime.

Often it’s hard to decide where to go on your vacation. And that is especially the case when you are considering new destinations. But that’s not much of a problem anymore. By using 360-degree VR immersion technology, you can get a sense of whether or not you’ll enjoy the destination before dropping money on it.

Here are five ways VR technology can apply to tourism marketing:

Set Expectations About Your Destination

People often do not know what to expect when traveling to a new destination. You want to consider everyone who is going and make sure it will be a fun experience for all. Luckily VR technology allows you to see any destination you’re interested in. You can effectively get a taste of what your next travel adventure will be like.

Thanks to online resources like Google Streetview, there’s ways to judge exactly how each place in the world looks. Research has never been easier, and anyone can do some digging to find their dream getaway. Everyone has their own tastes, and that may not fall into a typical vacation spot like Paris or New York. This world is huge, and anyone should be able to see what corners they want to explore.

Build a Mental Image

It is hard to imagine what a location will be like when you have never been before. Sure, you can imagine, but that’ll likely be from a place of ignorance. But thankfully in advancements in technology, you can get a first look more accurate than any brochure or commercial.

You can use VR technology to see the destination, people, and the culture beforehand.

Once you get a taste with VR, you can get a clear image of what the destination is like. Therefore, VR can help you to decide which places you’d want to visit in person or avoid.

Open a Window to New Experiences

If there are events at your destination that you might want to check out, VR lets you peek into the experience.

Of course, you need to fill your vacation with events and activities. Staying in your hotel room the whole time isn’t much of a vacation at all. You have to go out, and see all that’s really going on. And watching VR can help you judge on what is worth your time. If the videos you find look great, go out and go. If they don’t seem that great, we’re sure you can find something better, and you shouldn’t put it in the itinerary.

You can use VR to visualize whether or not you’d like to attend a specific event. Therefore, doing this can help you to make adjustments to your travel itinerary. Making more informed decisions on whether or not you want to attend local events will be much easier when VR is normalized.

Immerse Yourself Further with “Mixed Realities

VR allows the user to have very different experiences depending on the level of technology involved.

What most people don’t know is that there are three different kinds of digital reality technology to experience. These all could later be incorporated into tourism marketing:

Augmented reality “adds to” a real-life experience. (The most well-known instance of augmented reality is Pokémon Go. Which is a gaming app that makes things appear in the real world through users’ phones.) This is the type most commonly used in virtual tours and is the oldest type of digital reality technology.

Virtual reality is transformative. Digital worlds appear through 3D goggles. And an audio headset completes the experience. It can dip users into the ocean, hurl them through space or take them to amazing places. This version of VR technology is not yet altogether mainstream but has so many potential applications.

Mixed reality is best for a truly immersive experience. Mixed reality combines physical elements. Users feel transported to the place that the VR projects.

Reduce Your Travel Worries

Several people found that VR made it easier to navigate their actual vacation better. Being able to experience their trips beforehand improved their planning.

From touring potential hotels to being overall more informed. People who use VR to vacation-plan can better anticipate the experience for their family members. Overall, those who used VR for their planning had fewer worries involved in going to an unfamiliar place.

Technological solutions are growing in availability at trade shows and traveling events. VR technology is nearly at the cusp of being at your fingertips. Utilizing this technology can potentially be very useful in future travel marketing. Studies on VR reveal that there is a more positive impact on people than other forms of visual promotion. This is because it improves how well people understand their potential destination. Once VR is available everywhere for “trial vacations,” the world will change.

All in all, VR is a brilliant technology that should go hand in hand with your planning. Is it the same thing as actually being there? No, of course not. But it is a strong first step, and the best of the VR experiences can be what you chase in your trips. And who knows? Maybe we’ll get to the point where VR is so lifelike, that those “trips” are be an equally hot ticket item. Only time will tell.

If you have the means, a high end VR headset like Oculus Rift or Valve Index is the best option. That’s the closest you can get to really being there. But if you have a smartphone, you can compromise on a much cheaper option. Buying a simple plastic headset at Wal-Mart can get the job done, as you can find plenty of VR videos on YouTube. Simply click the VR option, place your phone inside, and sit back and enjoy.

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