Lockdowns and quarantines have meant people are stuck inside, some are able to work from home and are kept busy, others have nothing to do. It’s enough to drive anyone stir crazy, especially if you are someone who loves to travel.
In this forced situation, many have been taking advantage of digital tourism and taking virtual tours, but is it any good? Today, thanks to the technological advancements, we are able to do almost anything without leaving our homes such as fitness classes streamed online, business meetings and pub quizzes via Zoom. We can even virtually visit a country we may not usually be able to afford.
Digital tourism has seen a huge increase recently, with many companies around the world creating free websites for people to visit. National Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, castles, museums, all can be visited without leaving your home.
Feet Do Travel ask is digital and virtual tourism the new future of travel?
Digital tourism isn’t a new concept. In short, it’s the use of digital tools to prepare and organise your travel, so instead of going to a travel agent to arrange your trip away, you book flights, hotels, cars and tours from the comfort of your home using the internet. It’s a tech-driven way of researching and planning a trip, and is something many of us have been doing for years.
However due to Covid-19 lockdowns, extensive travel bans and strict social distancing,
digital tourism has become increasingly popular. People can now experience travelling and many other activities without having to leave their homes.
Museums are an excellent example. Around the world museum doors have been closed so many decided to offer online tours for people to see everything from the comfort of their living room.
Under the “new normal” with social distancing rules in place, self-guided walking tours are becoming popular and apps such as GPSmyCity provide a huge amount of information about a certain place. They allow people to tour of a City at their own pace without the need for a guide.
The Coronavirus pandemic showed the world how important the digital world has become, with many industries thriving. Every single field, from tourism, to trading, to meetings, to gambling and many other sectors have become very active in the digital world.
One of the fields which has used digital technology the most is the gambling industry, which saw a huge growth during lockdown. Due to lockdown, real-life casinos had to close down, so the only way people could gamble was by the internet. In the last few months, a huge number of new companies offered live casino games to play, giving people a chance to have fun and hopefully earn money if they were out of work.
Another sector which has flourished is online shopping, with many business seeing a huge increase in sales. With people not being able to leave their homes, shopping at their fingertips has given them a sense of normality. Sales of indoor fitness equipment such as skipping ropes, dumbbells and yoga mats have soured, with people showing concern for their mental health as well as physical health due to lockdown.
Everyone knows the future of tourism is uncertain, and no one can truly predict when the world will recover from the Coronavus pandemic. Experts do believe, however, that virtual and digital tourism will develop into something bigger. Tourism has always been a huge business, contributing millions to the local economy, and creating job opportunities for local people.
Due to the huge effect Coronavirus lockdowns have had on the tourism market, Countries are trying to think up new ideas to generate revenue. Companies have announced they are trying to incorporate augmented reality technology with their existing platforms to make everything more real-life-like and enjoyable for tourists.
Seeing places online in a virtual way isn’t something everyone will enjoy. For many the experience simply isn’t the same, and they prefer to wait for the pandemic to end. It is, however, a fantastic way of creating travel inspiration for the future, and giving people a glimpse of what they can see when they are allowed to travel.
There is huge potential for the digital tourism industry to be very successful in the next few years, and it’s only a matter of time until something great emerges which win the hearts of the most sceptic.