Jeremy Story Carter from RN raises some pretty interesting questions about virtual reality tourism, centered around Australia's recent 360 video efforts:
"If anyone in the world can access immersive experiences of Australia without ever leaving their home though, might such campaigns actually dissuade tourists?
'I'm sure Tourism Australia has thought about this—why come if you can experience it virtually?' he (Professor Jim Blascovich from the University of California, Santa Barbara) says.
'That's the yin and the yang of it. I'm sure they've also thought, "let's not give the whole store away.'
Blascovich, who has studied virtual reality for decades, says the potential for similar virtual reality technologies to be applied for education purposes is fascinating."
We see virtual reality as a way to augment real-world experiences. Nothing will ever replace the feeling of fine, powdery sand between your toes, or the overwhelming experience of seeing the Three Capes Track in person.
But with that said, an immersive experience could entice potential tourists into booking their next vacation in Australia. To paraphrase an old saying: "To sell the steak, show them the sizzle." And as a promotional tool, virtual reality gives one helluva sizzle.
Photo credit: Sarah Ackerman Amazing Great Barrier Reef, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Also, check out a sample 360 video below: