Virtual Reality for Travel Agents
Virtual reality has great potential for the tourism industry and travel agents can benefit from it. In this article, I would discuss the usability of virtual reality for travel agents.
Travel agents can no longer compete in the market if they just provide travel itineraries and reservations. In the cut-throat competition, travel agents need to keep themselves ahead of their competition by creating amazing looking packages. Any package may look amazing out of the following two.
Great pricing which would attract clients.
Exotic new locations and attractive presentations.
I don't think travel agents work on huge margins, cutting cost on reservations is not possible. The only option left with the travel agents is to attract clients with unseen locations and awesome presentations. Moreover, the market for off-beat destinations is increasing by each day.
Travel agents can look for off-beat destinations using the internet and great services like google earth. Passionate travellers, like me, often travel to such destinations and post awesome pictures over the internet. These pictures are available on google maps and Streetview.
360 panoramic images are getting more and more popular and more often than not, destinations have panoramic images. Great looking interactive virtual reality tours can be created using these photographs.
These virtual tours are interactive, and if used with VR sets, they transport users into the location itself. Users can navigate point to point using easy navigation tools. They can look around in any direction, just like while standing on the actual location. They can also access any information of data embedded with elements of the tour.
These tours can also be used on normal PCs/laptops and mobile devices. These can even be converted to mobile apps and users can use them on actual sites as tourism guides.
Travel agents can get thee tours made our of photographs available on Google maps. If they happen to visit those locations, they can click more panoramic photographs for future use. Once the tours are created, they can use them endlessly to attract clients. They can upload tours on their websites, share on social media and even distribute directly to clients.