Augmented and Virtual Reality in Tourism Industry
Introduction to Virtual Reality
Virtual reality was first known as the artificial or near reality, is a term used to describe the technology of making the fantasy, artificial, imaginary or fictitious world into reality. While the Augmented Reality is a term use to relate the combination of virtual reality and real world. However, the virtual is a near to reality and reality is what we experienced in our life. We also can say everything is possible in virtual reality.
Nowadays, when every single aspect of technology has been tremendous using in every walk of life, there the demand and application of virtual reality is widely adopted as trend and almost in all fields of life either personal or professional we are directly or indirectly using the virtual or augmented reality technology. In tourism, the augmented and virtual reality are playing an effective and efficient role in providing the benefits for both the tourism industries as well as to the tourists. It is a profitable technology used for the marketing and entertainment purposes in the tourism industry ( QR Code Press 2012 ).
Application Of Technology In Tourism Industry
Since last two decades the internet has been vitally used in the tourism industry for hospitality and marketing purposes. As widely the hotel’s network will be as much clientele it will gain by using internet technologies (Hymas, 2012).
Due to the increasingly growing internet technology the facilities, marketing, services and accessibility for customers and hotel businesses is becoming more convenient. Due to this efficient internet technological platform, the consumers can easily shop whatever they want to, can reserve rooms or family table & halls, and events in any hotel they like to while the business men and owners of hotels and other tourist destinations can easily provide the shopping, reservation and booking facilities for the customers not locally but also at international level (Ahuja, Raman and Gupta 2003).
Application Of augmented and Virtual Reality In Tourism Industry
According to Whyte (2002), the augmented and virtual reality application in the tourism industry has a wide background. However, it was not as much in trend before a decade, as it is getting popular now days. “The implementation of virtual reality” (p. 443) technology broadens the concept of convenience, accessibility, marketing, entertainment, user friendly development and communication.
Buhalis (2000b) stated that the virtual reality combination with the real world is not less than an excited experience the tourists can get to entertain and facilitate themselves. They can choose and select the possibilities what they have to see or experience in fact and all this can be done only through a “single click of mouse” (p. 240) or a key on your cell.
We must say that augmented and virtual reality technology actually allow the businessmen of the tourism industry to add the recorded and animated images, videos, and other multimedia resources in order to blend and make able to view the artificial facts or reality in the real world. The virtual reality applications therefore has been adopted to provide the travelers with useful information and facts about their possible queries and anticipations about touring in their potential destinations.
Furthermore, we can say that touring enterprises can convey their services and can attract and invite the tourists from all across the world by using the virtual reality through their websites or other accessible resources. While the travelers can avail the pre information, accessibility and decision making for all they want to get while planning their tour, such as the destinations, location tracking for hotels, markets, hospitals, gyms, clubs, cafes or anywhere they want to go, can suppose shopping goods and services and even can do this by selecting, purchasing and paying online, and can assume their presence at the destination they want to be while sitting in their homes and offices. All this is possible only because of virtual reality technology application in the tourism industry.
According to my research on virtual reality application, the augmented and virtual reality is widely engaged in creating the imagery videos, perfect 3D representations and pictures by using computer generated graphics to make the touring experience more effective and entertaining for the travelers by offering them sightseeing services. Nowadays, the sightseeing services for android and Smartphones is also accessible for travelers to walk, shop, hang on, and see the facts and figures presented as an overlay on their live screen while they are sitting at their home or offices.
How Can augmented and virtual Reality Help The Tourism Industry?
According to Dellaert (1999), the virtual reality helps the travelers in decision making processes and preferences before even buying the items or being in the place they are planning or willing to go in reality. It enhances the customers’ reliability towards their destinations. The potential guests can create their own tailor made package for their convenience and facility through “usage of the world wide web” (pp. 325).
Although, the internet is not only the source of providing the facility, services and access to the tourist, but it is more than necessary to implement the CRSs computerized reservation systems and GDSs global distribution channels in the tourism industry to bring the tourism industry towards the platform of automation and IT. The virtual reality and multimedia application in websites of tourism industries makes it more technologically developed and progressed for both the customers and business enterprises.
The possibilities of providing the information, distribution and transaction facilities for potential tourists is only possible through applying the virtual reality technology in the tourism industry (O’Brien, 1999 ).
After concluding, we can say that the augmented and virtual reality basically enhances the opportunities to put an end to unfamiliarities and impossibilities in the tourism industry. Due to rapidly growing application of augmented and virtual reality in the tourism industry, now nothing is impossible to know, see or even get a travel experience without going the places where you want to go. It helps travelers to get a real experience or travelling the foreign countries by getting information about their surroundings before moving towards their destinations.
Buhalis. (2000b), Dellaert. (1999), O’Brien. (1999) Tourism Distribution Channels Practices, Issues and Transformations.
Ahuja, Raman and Gupta. (2003), Hymas. (2001), Whyte. (2002) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2010, 02.