Is it possible to discover some of the mythical spots and timeless stories hidden behind a magical city such as Barcelona, all from the comfort of your couch? Of course, the short answer is a resounding yes.
As borders remain tightly shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people might have wondered whether where the spirit of wanderlust might have died. But thanks to Virtual Reality (VR), wanderlust has now become a way of life for millions of folks stuck at home and looking to fill a void until a return to normalcy is possible.
Virtual reality can simply be described as interactive videos and images that allow a viewer to view the entire 360 degrees scenery. Traditional video only captures a single viewpoint, but VR creates an immersive experience by capturing every single part of the same location through specialist cameras, rigs, and software. You can then view the videos on a special VR headset or just a computer or mobile phone.
How Does VR in the Tourism Sector Work?
The fundamental difference between VR videos and normal videos is the fact that viewers can explore the entire scenery while playing the video. The videos are captured using specialist omnidirectional cameras that capture every angle of the location at the same time.
The footage is then professionally edited and woven together to produce incredibly realistic video footage for the full, immersive virtual tourism experience. VR tourism videos specifically come in two types:
1. Monoscopic VR Videos
You can view monoscopic VR videos on your mobile phone, your computer, and other regular devices. This is because the image or the video is directed to both eyes, similar to the traditional videos or pictures.
While watching a monoscopic VR video, you can click, drag, or rotate the view of the videos like you would if you were at the location and you were turning your head around to explore the scene. Therefore, monoscopic VR is perfect for video shots that contain more dynamic movement.
2. Stereotypic VR Videos
Stereotypic VR videos, on the other hand, are produced specifically for VR headsets. You cannot view them on regular devices such as mobile phones, tablets, or computers. They are typically more expensive to produce since they take a lot more time to create.
However, stereotypic VR videos provide a more immersive viewing experience due to their depth perception effect. They even feature head tracking so you can move your head to view different parts of your surroundings more realistically or a lot closer to the way you view the real world.
They are designed to mimic human eyes in that they use two lenses for each angle, both of which capture the same information. The lenses have different angles and are separated by the interpupillary distance, just like the human eyes. Therefore, by looking at the same scenery from different eye positions, the VR camera mimics the human eye positions and allows the brain to calculate depth perception, providing an incredibly realistic perception.
Why You Should Consider Virtual Tourism
Thanks to companies such as Globetrotter VR, you can now have armchair travel experiences that bring the world to your living room. You can experience Budapest through the ages, discover the secrets of Barcelona, and bring the best of London to your home.
Due to the global pandemic, regular travel and tourism is off the cards at the present time, or even for the foreseeable future. The pandemic is actually touted as having given the virtual tourism industry a shot of adrenalin.
Here are three more reasons to consider virtual travel experiences:
1. The Environment
With movement across borders and even within countries severely curtailed, there has been a profound and positive environmental impact on the planet. In fact, VR has now been widely regarded as a potential eco-friendly solution to the problem of over-tourism.
By diverting the volume of tourists to other areas, it can ease the burden on a destination’s infrastructure and lessen its environmental impact. VR can actually end up displacing a huge chunk of tourists who would have made physical trips instead.
However, some fear that the quality of virtual tourism and the rise in demand might actually have an opposite environmental effect on the planet. Once someone has experienced a virtual trip to the Amazon, which they totally enjoyed, they may be immediately inspired to hop onto the next flight to South America.
2. Visiting Otherwise Inaccessible Places
Certain destinations or parts of the world are incredibly challenging to visit. They may be physically challenging to visit, or they may be closed to the public, such as delicate ancient ruins or vulnerable cave paintings.
Certain parts of the world also have travel restrictions that bar individuals from visiting within their borders. For instance, if you can’t get a Schengen visa for any reason, then you wouldn’t be able to access a good number of European destinations.
3. Easy on the Pockets
The cost of travel and tourism is a great barrier to many people who simply can’t make the trip to a destination because of the budget. But with virtual tourism, a holiday experience suddenly becomes accessible to many more people since they can simply make a trip to Barcelona at a fraction of the actual cost of regular travel.
How to Travel the World While Still Social Distancing
Globetrotter VR provides a virtual travel platform that you can use to experience the world through some of the best-in-class guided tours you can imagine. And you don’t even require any special equipment for these experiences.
If you don’t have the time or are incredibly busy, Globetrotter has a range of On demand Tours that you can choose or discover at your own convenience. For a one-time fee, you can begin experiencing immersive tours immediately.
However, in case you want to know a little more or you want to join a live guided tour with your family, colleagues, or friends, you can still schedule a session under Live Guided Tours.
Note that both sets of virtual tours can be accessed from your computer, your cellphone, or from a VR headset.
Virtual Tours Available
Some of the virtual tours and discoveries available from Globetrotter VR include;
1. The Secrets of Barcelona
2. The Hidden Gems of Venice
3. The Best of Florence
4. The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
5. New York Highlights
6. The Pearls of Dubai
7. Budapest Through the Ages
Experience Cultural Tourism
The timeless lure of the trip to an exotic beach or tropical rainforest and the excitement of the unknown can be pretty exhilarating. However, encountering and interacting with the culture of a destination can also provide a rich travel experience.
Many people are increasingly interacting with and immersing themselves in the culture and languages of other countries. This has given tourism a whole new dimension as more people who visit different destinations now want to participate and enjoy an authentic cultural exchange with locals.
Cultural tourism is a fantastic way to appreciate the world’s amazing diversity and enrich your perspectives. Cultural tourists only seek authentic experiences since every community often has its own unique attributes that differentiate it from many others. This could be the food, the history, the language, the art, many other community assets.
Explore the diverse world in a whole new way through fully interactive virtual tours from Globetrotter VR. All the tours are powered by Web VR technology and can be accessed from any compatible device.