We exist in a new era of technology that’s affording everyone luxuries that, years ago, few would have imagined. One of the most exciting of these is the very concept you see driving much of this site: VR tourism. Using the power of VR, people are now able to travel around the planet - at least in some sense - without ever having to leave home.
Popular platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Google Street View all have lots of VR content that you’ll find by searching for terms such as ‘VR tour’ or ‘360-degree video’. But for more specific travel experiences, try Ascape, a free app with plenty of scenic VR tours designed for travel inspiration — from a day in New York City to reindeer racing in Norway.
Once in the realm of sci-fi imagination, VR and AR have lately found their way into everyday applications within healthcare, retail businesses, entertainment and—most intriguingly—the travel industry. The new technology allows users to visit the most remote and exotic destinations without ever leaving the comfort of their armchair, time-travel beyond the confines of museums and bring outdoor monuments to life. But let’s start from the beginning.
Being an environmentally conscious person, I couldn't be happier. The meetings industry has a huge environmental impact – from the millions of miles delegates have flown to attend events to the reams of paper squeezed into bulging delegate bags and the kilowatts of energy used to light exhibitions and displays around the world.
In fact, it seems likely that not only will travel not be replaced by virtual reality, but the opposite may happen: with their limited sensory offerings, VR experiences will just whet travelers’ appetites for the real thing, making them want to physically experience what they just saw and heard. As one commenter suggests, VR is the sales pitch, not the end goal.
Ascape is a virtual reality content app for iOS and Android that uses a slick interface to encourage travel discovery through 360 degree photos and video. It’s the only travel-related app we could find that actually adds a sense of fun to the process of scrolling through long lists of virtual reality content.
The German airline Lufthansa has already created several 360-degree videos of certain destinations, including Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo, available on YouTube, viewable on VR headsets. And the travel app Ascape has a whole heap of 360-degree videos and photo tours of various locations and events around the world to entice customers to visit.