Photo by Pietro De Grandi on Unsplash.

Signs of Time: Is travel going virtual?

It is difficult to defer digitalization. It is unlikely that many things will want to or let it. There are plenty of benefits, and, as the technology continues to advance and at rapid rates, allowing for many smart people to harness it in fun and interesting ways, why would anyone neglect things that provide advantages?

Virtual Reality (VR) and digital spaces are transportive. Applying these measures to real-life, physical, non-digital places was and is a logical next-step for heritage sites, and for tourist destinations. The thrill and excitement are similar to one of playing online games at, in the end, it is a virtual world we have taken to — only this time instead of playing slots or adventure games, you can go on a travel adventure from the comfort of your own homes.

What is Virtual Travel?

First, we clear things out. When we speak about a virtual reality travel experience, what it entails is a tour of a country or an adventure through a stranger’s eye-view. You can click on the website that offers the tour and are transported into a window of up to a few minutes into someone else’s tour, either at snow-caps of Iceland or the beaches of Hawaii.

You can choose to be transported anywhere from London to Singapore to Egypt, if you will. From underneath the Brooklyn bridge to a goat farm in Slovakia and a Greek garden or perhaps you want to have a look at what’s going on in Shanghai or the mountains of Tehran? This type of travel has immense potential and is worth every risk for the providers.

Even though it may never replace the real thing, VR travel still offers some great opportunities to those who may not be able to travel, or those who can but would like to view the country or region before they book their tickets. If the technology becomes sophisticated enough, some may just prefer this form of ‘travel’ instead.

The Future of Virtual Travel

So far there have been advancements in this space, with new and improved technologies, but the evolution and application will take some time to perfect. In the worst-case scenario, it will not disrupt the travel industry but rather work hand-in-hand with it. Bringing far away places closer to your home is one thing to look forward to while restrictions are still underway.

At the moment you can enjoy the experience of watching virtual reality national parks in South Africa. All it takes is a fee to pay for the virtual safari and you are set for Africa. There are also live cams on the ‘’ website which feature tours of many places throughout the globe.

Plus, a great benefit is that a lot of the funds that are collected from these projects go towards wildlife conservation, environmental sustainability and maintenance, and it has far less of a carbon footprint than any other form of travel — so it’s a win-win for everyone.


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