How travel companies are helping promote digital tourism

How travel companies are helping promote digital tourism

By Shalini Raj 

Digital tourism is a new hit among globetrotters and travel enthusiasts. Sightseeing is now online, and the travel and tourism sector is striving to keep travellers and key patrons engaged even during the ongoing lockdown. Live Buddhist meditation is among many activities being curated to enable people to “travel from home”.

Travel establishments across the globe are pulling the VR experiences as an alternative to the real travel experience. It is also becoming an eco-friendly way to help avoid over-tourism at most visited spots around the world. A lot of real estate developers are also providing virtual tours on their websites wherein you get a complete 360-degree experience of the complete project.

Travel Companies Increasingly Pulling Advanced Technologies

Travel companies are pulling technologies like AR and VR to improve operational efficiencies. Travel industry and various tech enthusiasts are increasingly experimenting with ways to use advanced technology to place people in heavily managed, artificial environments. Also, these technology-driven substitute experiences will be extremely useful for heritage and natural preservation.

There are apps that let users view destinations, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and tour operators from a 360-degree angle. The aim is to encourage potential customers to book real holidays. Virtual tours are increasingly becoming an ultimate tool for travel advisors and incentive planners, creating a new kind of sizzle which is dramatically increasing sales. Additionally, various airlines are also introducing pre-travel PR content which makes it clear that advanced technology will be as much a boost to real-world travel as a replacement. The tourism companies are using this data to get a clearer picture of what specifically customers want from their tourism and subsequently, they are coming up with ideas of virtual experiences that makes the customers excited about where they could be going.

Physical Tourism is Here to Stay

However, none of these travel companies which are pushing through VR tourist experiences intends to replace physical tourism. Virtual tourism is only being harnessed as yet another digital marketing device. Once normal life resumes, virtual travel experiences will be used to promote actual travel experiences.

The use of technology for providing virtual tours and immersive experiences is not limited to the travel industry. Real estate companies are providing a virtual tour of newly launched projects to people who want to make an investment. The proposed real estate plans become more believable when people are presented with virtual tours. Besides, technology virtual tours are becoming a standard in the industry.

The Future

Virtual tour developers across the globe are reaping the benefits of advanced technology for strengthening their marketing strategy. Therefore, it is wise to partner with one of the established companies for dedicated support in developing virtual tours. The future will see the rise of other inventory providers like metasearch agencies, online travel aggregators and digital tour guides, ensuring that the business model on the supply side shifts. The future will also see an era of alliances, where today’s disruptors get disrupted, welcoming a new and sustainable ecosystem.

Summing It All Up

In India, virtual tours are emerging as a new popular among travel enthusiasts, especially in the times of lockdown. The usage is less due to lack of awareness and high cost but in the coming times, it will become affordable and usage will increase exponentially.

The technology is bringing destinations and accommodation closer to the traveller, enabling travellers to explore before making the booking. These new-age technologies will have other implications as well, related to customer data, storage, usage and accessibility and are bound to give rise to privacy and data regulations.

(The author is the founder of Journey Weavers.)

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