Way back in 1995, Roger Cheong propositioned that the use of Virtual Reality would increase, despite there being a distinct lack of VR technology available at the time. It may have been over twenty years ago, but many of Cheong’s predictions are now a reality. One such prediction was how VR could be used in the travel and tourism industry as it is suited well to this sector.
Also Read: AR and VR Market Potential
For many nations, tourism forms the basis of their economy. Now more than ever, when the travelers are Millennials with practically-attached smartphones, VR and AR have a real potential to enhance the lives of travelers.
The VR and AR market actually burst right through the $1bn mark in 2017, primarily due to the video game boom. But, it would be erroneous to think that the dramatic rise was solely due to the entertainment sector’s demand. All sectors are seeing an increase in the uses of VR and AR, and the travel industry is most certainly one of them.
AR and VR in Travel
There already exist products that are based on virtual vision, such as the Oculus Rift, and these could seek to allow users to explore the world from the comfort of their own home. But the limits don’t stop there. Many companies are future-thinking, believing that VR will be a major influencer on our touristic experiences, persuading its users to go out and visit the real thing.
Try Before You Buy
Global provider of Information Technology solutions for the travel industry, Amadeus, believes that, by 2030, there will be a new level of immersion, allowing customers to visit places to get a feel for them before they embark upon a trip. They predict that this will become standard within the industry. Another prediction is that VR will allow travelers to re-experience their trips once they return home, too. Lundy (2015), predicts that this will be one of the biggest future travel markets.
Of course, these outlooks are not expected to become reality any time soon. But they set the bar pretty high in terms of their expectations. This is most definitely a motivating tool for destinations and other tourism stakeholders, to explore options further.
Major Investment Research
Perhaps another motivating factor for travel and tourism stakeholders should be the major investment companies’ analyses. Goldman Sachs predicts that VR will grow to a worth of $80 billion within the next five or six years. When we compare this to the games console market expected growth, it is only $14bn. Goldman Sachs isn’t the only one supporting such an estimate. Piper Jaffray’s analysis estimates a share of $70bn of the global market for virtual reality. The possibilities of VR are endless, it notes. They expect the market penetration to be similar to the penetration experienced with smartphone technology.
Tourism businesses are not likely to profit from the sales of the hardware, so the software side of things is much more important to them. The predictions for software growth are much more divergent however, the analyses still show incredible potential for the VR market in terms of its global growth.