Opportunities for virtual tourism to take off

by NDO12 March 2021 Last updated at 16:00 PM

Son Doong cave in Vietnam's central province of Quang Binh was named among best virtual tours of world's natural wonders (Photo credit: Oxalis Adventures-Ryandeboodt/Vietnam+)
Son Doong cave in Vietnam's central province of Quang Binh was named among best virtual tours of world's natural wonders (Photo credit: Oxalis Adventures-Ryandeboodt/Vietnam+)

VTV.vn - The freeze on traditional tourism has paved the way for digital tourism to take off further, that virtual tourism is seen as a trend opening up new opportunities for the hospitality sector.

Virtual tourism is not simply traveling via the TV screen or travel books, newspapers and magazines. Instead, it allows users to experience authentic and lively images of their destination, digitised in 3D with the support of modern technology, particularly virtual reality (VR).

This means that, while seated, people can witness the immense green colour of the Moc Chau tea hills, participate in an exciting journey into Son Dong cave, or visit famous tourist sites around the world.

This trend of tourism not only helps quench the "thirst" for travel among adventurers during the COVID-19 era, but also serves as a great choice for visitors, helping them save time and money while avoiding possible problems during real trips, such as crowds and tourist traps.

Grasping these opportunities, many countries have been active in conducting research and pouring investment into virtual tourism. This trend has become even more popular at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic situation has not seen any sign of abating.

VR technology has given wings to many famous travel companies in developing virtual tours that strongly stimulate tourists' emotions such as a helicopter ride above Manhattan island or a journey in a hot air balloon above Uganda.

In Japan, since travel restrictions have been adopted due to COVID-19 pandemic, the number of virtual tours has increased by about 50%. Recently, Japanese company First Airlines launched the world's first virtual airline, allowing passengers to experience take-off and landing as well as a 360-degree virtual city tour upon arrival at the destinations on offer, including Paris, New York, Rome and Hawaii, using projection mapping and video features on their VR headsets.

Virtual tours to explore the Angkor Wat complex have also been launched in Cambodia, bringing visitors back into the past to admire the ancient architecture.

Although virtual tourism cannot replace real-life tourism, it can serve the demand of those who are restricted from travelling, including people with disabilities, elders, people in unfavourable health conditions, and those with low incomes.

In addition, virtual tourism is an effective tool to advertise destinations and opens a new way for travel businesses to overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19.

With rich natural resources and technological development, Vietnam has also joined the race to develop virtual tourism. In recent years, virtual tourism has been launched, including a virtual tour to the world famous Son Dong cave in Quang Binh province. The tour has been named amongst the 10 best virtual tours of the world's natural wonders by British newspaper The Guardian.

Wanderlusts are able to explore the world’s largest natural cave using their computers or smartphones, join a trek, created from 360-degree images and atmospheric sound effects, head through light-filled caverns, pass a 70 metre-tall stalagmite, and enter huge sinkholes in the jungle.

Another virtual tour in Vietnam worth mentioning is a tour to the Moc Chau plateau in the north western province of Son La, providing interactive experiences to visit the Dai Yem waterfall and the Ang village pine forest. Other famous places such as Hoan Kiem lake, Ho Chi Minh City Post Office, museums, relics have also been digitised to provide more interest for virtual travellers.

The development of virtual tourism requires full participation from all levels, branches and agencies. Of which, state management agencies in the tourism industry need to play a leading role in collecting the relevant units in digitising the data of destinations, and utilising it to develop virtual tours. Virtual tourism promises to create a strong boost for Vietnam's tourism, helping it thrive further.


Top VND Exchange Rates

Auto-refesh 15m




Mid-market rates: 2023-04-02 00:35 UTC