Most people dream of that ideal holiday to such places as the Maldives, the Bahamas or Australia, however, all international trips were brought to a sudden halt by the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020.
This left even the most popular vacationing sites empty of tourists, plunging the hospitality industry into severe financial difficulties and putting over 41 million jobs at risk.
Nevertheless, the tourism industry is nothing if not adaptable, and in the absence of holidaymakers, tourist hotspots, hotels and tourism boards are turning to Virtual Reality.
No longer just a gimmick
The decimation of the tourism industry caused by the pandemic may well be a watershed moment for Virtual Reality in this particular sector. No longer will VR be seen as a gimmick, a clever marketing trick to be wheeled out on an intermittent basis.
Presently, people are beginning to recognise the benefits that VR can bring when international travel is either not possible or severely restricted.
Heightening traveller confidence
Even with mass vaccinations, the damage to the tourism industry could take years if not decades to reverse, with consumer confidence likely to be low and certain age groups opting to take a holiday in their country of residence rather than venture abroad.
Virtual Reality technology can be a potent and cost-effective method to help potential clients feel better about travelling, with the ability to show travellers the check-in process and the health and safety procedures before they leave home for example.
The tourism board in the Maldives have already begun to perceive the benefits of using Virtual Reality as a way of inspiring confidence in holidaymakers. They have begun using VR to showcase some of the exciting activities and experiences that travellers can enjoy when visiting such as snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters, relaxing on the beach or even lessons on how to cook some of the local delicacies.
So what else can we look forward to thanks to VR?
The sports industry will soon be revolutionised thanks to VR, allowing players and their coaches to train more effectively. VR will also allow them to experience certain sporting situations again and again and therefore learn from these and improve their tactics.
The future of VR in sport will also enable viewers to attend a sporting event from anywhere in the world without having to physically travel to a specific location. Despite not physically being there, spectators will still be able to immerse themselves in the experience.
Virtual reality technology is also having an enormous impact on the way we do things in the military. VR can allow military personnel to experience a range of training situations, which better prepares them for real-life situations. For example, it can be used for flight simulations, medical training, battlefield simulations and many other things. This helps soldiers train without being put at risk until they are ready to be deployed.
VR can absolutely be used to enhance education and enable students to experience a 3D educational environment. For example, teachers could use VR technology to take their students on virtual field trips to museums or cities abroad. This not only enriches their education but also makes it a lot more accessible to students whose families may not have previously been able to afford the travelling costs.
Research has also found that VR can be very beneficial for children on the autism spectrum. This is because it allows them to encounter new experiences, such as practising social skills, in an environment where they feel safe.