Traveling virtually is a great way to explore the world from your home, especially when you can’t visit a place in person. In some cases, the experience is even enhanced beyond reality. So whether you’re stuck at home or just have a hankering for a change of scenery, look to these virtual tourism examples and ideas to help calm your wanderlust.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will discover virtual tourism examples and some of the best ways you can explore the world from home, including:
- What is Virtual Tourism?
- Virtual Tourism Advantages and Disadvantages
- The Evolution of Virtual Tourism
- 7 Excellent Ways to Travel Virtually in 2024
- The Emerging World of Virtual Tourism
- Final Thoughts on Virtual Tourism Examples
- Frequently Asked Questions About Virtual Tourism
Before we get into examples of virtual tourism and some of the great exhibits and experiences you’ll want to see, let’s first cover some basics.
What is Virtual Tourism?
Virtual tourism is a way to explore destinations, attractions, accommodations and other travel venues without actually visiting them. It’s an immersive experience made possible by technology.
Virtual Tourism may include:
- The ability to interact with a 360-degree photo
- A guided teleconference
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Augmented reality (AR)
- A video tour
- Google Arts and Culture experiences
- Other technology-enabled methods
Viewers can use their computer or mobile device, or for the most immersive effect, use a virtual reality headset.
Virtual tourism is very useful when you can’t travel, but it’s also an incredible resource when you’re planning a trip. Hotel booking sites, like Booking.com, Expedia.com, and Hotels.com will help you narrow down your best options based on location, budget, and amenities.
That way, you can imagine yourself having the experience before you actually book it.
Virtual Tourism Advantages and Disadvantages
Here are some of the pros and cons of virtual tours you should consider.
Virtual Tour Benefits
Taking a virtual tour has several benefits, including:
- Saves money compared to actual travel
- Eliminates travel time
- Allows you to envision being some place before you go
- Makes activities, experiences, and destinations accessible
- Tempers (or feeds!) your wanderlust
- You can do it in your pajamas, at home, and at any time of day!
Virtual Tour Drawbacks
Like everything, virtual tours have some drawbacks. They include
- Limited or no personal interaction
- Tech issues
- May not show you what you want to see
- Not available for every activity, experience, or destination
- It’s not as good as being there – but it can be pretty close!
The Evolution of Virtual Tourism
With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, most countries worldwide came up with measures to curb its spread to keep their people safe.
One of them was to restrict people from traveling to certain countries. This is because some countries are or were still struggling to deal with this disease.
As a result, many people remained isolated in their homes.
However, being at home during this period does not need to be an avenue for you to put your wanderlust on hold.
The good news is that virtual tourism blossomed, and you can now explore the world virtually in 2024 from the comfort of your home.
It’s pretty safe to say that virtual tourism is here to stay, and will only get more comprehensive and lifelike in the coming years.
With the proliferation of modern tech devices, there are many ways that you can explore the world virtually.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at some virtual tourism examples along with some great places you can explore virtually now.
Best Ways to Explore the World Now | Virtual Tourism Examples
Like we have mentioned above, you can now take a virtual trip to any place you please all over the world from the comfort of your home.
Some of these ways include:
1. Take a Virtual Tour of Galleries and Museums
If you are a culture and art lover, taking a virtual tour of galleries and museums should top the list of your priorities. It’s the first of our virtual tourism examples.
Thanks to the internet, you can now take a virtual tour of different galleries and museums and have fun.
You’ll find several galleries and museums you can explore virtually today.
In fact, Fast Company reported that Google Arts & Culture partnered with more than 2500 museums and galleries around the world to provide virtual tours.
Some popular galleries and museums you can tour virtually include:
- Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao, Spain) – Home to approximately 600 artworks, including 360-degree virtual exhibits
- The British Museum (London, England) – Typically over 5000 items on display; you might even have a hard time deciding which items to virtually look at first
- Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – Usually has 80 galleries with over 8000 artworks to explore virtually
- The Museum of Modern Art (New York City, NY) – Discover modern art sculptures, paintings, and so much more online
- The Louvre (Paris, France) – View the art, galleries, and palace architecture from home
- J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA) – Some pieces date back 6,000 years; don’t miss the sculpture garden and photography gallery
2. Visit the Zoo
Another of our virtual tourism examples is visiting the zoo online.
You’ll find dozens of zoos you can explore without leaving your home.
While the popularity of zoos has declined over the past twenty years, it’s important to recognize that some help save endangered species, provide them with a natural habitat, and educate the public.
Most of them now offer webcam viewing, where you will see several animals online.
Generally, you can experience fantastic wildlife from the comfort of your home.
One good place to take a virtual tour is the Edinburg Zoo in Scotland. Here, you will be able to live stream cute pandas and other animals.
Another great option for virtual travel is at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA. When you take a virtual tour, you can watch live footage of Beluga Whales or African penguins, and more.
Another great zoo to visit virtually is the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI. They offer “digital encounters” and virtual education programs, too.
So, regardless of your age, you can be sure that you will have fun streaming live videos of different animals from different zoos worldwide.
3. Take a Virtual Hotel Tour
Even if you’re not privileged to enjoy your vacation in one of the most luxurious hotels in the world right now, you can often take a virtual tour.
That way, you get a good sense of what these hotels offer to customers without stepping foot in the lobby.
It’s one of the virtual tourism examples that will help you decide on a future visit.
From the foods these hotels provide to their accommodation, there is plenty of exploration for you to look into before you go in person.
You can also explore The Bahia Resort Hotel, which is located in San Diego, among others. (Check the current The Bahia Resort Hotel rates here.)
By taking these virtual tours, you will be able to know what to expect once you take an actual trip to those hotels later in the year.
Related Article: If you are planning a trip to UAE here’s a 2-day Dubai Itinerary you’ll want to consider.
4. Explore the World-Famous Attractions Virtually
One of the best things about virtual tours is they usually offer the much-needed simulation of real-world locations.
As we speak, you can now take virtual tours of world-famous attractions such as the Great Wall of China. You will view this wall in 3D and learn more facts about it from the comfort of your living room.
From the panoramic images to high-definition videos about these places, you can have an almost lifelike 3D view of these locations.
5. Take a Virtual Tour to National Parks All Over the World
It is no secret that national parks are beautiful in many ways.
When you visit, you will likely see indigenous and exotic animals.
What’s even better is that most national parks now allow you to take virtual tours on their websites and through Google Arts and Culture.
All you need to do is choose the climate or nature experience that suits your mood.
For instance, feeling like a tropical escape? Virtually visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Longing for a trip to the mountains, instead? Then head over to the Glacier National Park webcams.
6. Take a Virtual Trip to Space
Elon Musk isn’t the only one who’ll be traveling outer space…You can, too–virtually anyway!
That’s because NASA offers a collection of free digital space experiences for all those who wish to explore space.
They include virtual tours and augmented reality (AR). So, you will be able to explore the universe and other planets that make up the solar system.
7. Watch Travel Movies and TV Series
Other than the above VR experiences, you can also scout the world virtually by watching international movies and TV series.
Streaming platforms, including Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video offer vast catalogs of travel movies and TV series to quench your wanderlust.
Sometimes, you may not have full access to all the content because of geographical restrictions the streaming platforms may have.
One way around that is to use a VPN. A VPN hides your actual location (IP address) and swaps it out for your preferred country.
This allows you to watch content from that particular country without the geographical restrictions.
Of course, books that inspire wanderlust have always been an excellent way to transport yourself to another space and time. Don’t overlook those!
The Emerging World of Virtual Tourism: A New Era in Travel
The world of virtual tourism is wide reaching, and it’s only in it’s infancy. Here is more on what you can expect from this new era of travel.
Embracing Virtual Experiences in the Tourism Industry
In recent years, the tourism industry has witnessed a significant shift towards virtual experiences. The use of technology, especially VR tourism, has opened new avenues for virtual tourists to explore destinations from the comfort of their homes.
This shift is evident in how travel sector giants like Lonely Planet and National Geographic are incorporating virtual tourism content into their offerings.
The Growth of VR Experiences
The VR experience has transformed the way we perceive travel.
From virtual reality yoga classes to immersive tours of famous landmarks, modern technology has enabled a most immersive experience that rivals the real thing. The San Diego Zoo and the Russian Museum are just a couple of virtual tourism examples where VR technology is used to create engaging online experiences for visitors worldwide.
Social Media and Virtual Travel Experiences
Social media platforms have played a pivotal role in popularizing virtual travel experiences. They provide a digital world where users can share and discover virtual tourism experiences, from VR hotel tours to live streams of the most-visited tourist attractions.
The Impact on the Tourism Sector
The rise of virtual tourism technology is reshaping the tourism sector, offering new ways for companies to engage with potential travelers. For instance, Visit Wales has utilized virtual tourism to showcase its natural beauty, while the hospitality industry leverages it to preview hotel rooms and amenities. It’s one of the best virtual tourism examples.
Virtual Tourism Experiences and the Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry, in particular, has embraced virtual tourism as the best way to showcase their offerings. Immersive tours of hotel rooms and facilities provide a new experience for customers, helping them make informed decisions. The benefits of virtual reality are evident in how it enhances the customer journey and expands the reach of marketing efforts.
Looking Ahead: Virtual Tourism in Today’s World
As we move forward, virtual tourism technology continues to evolve, offering even more engaging and realistic experiences. The next wave of innovation is likely to bring even more dynamic and interactive elements to virtual tourism experiences, as outlined in the following articles by leading travel experts.
Final Thoughts on These Virtual Travel Examples
Although global travel may still be a standstill in some places, in others, it’s full-steam ahead!
That does not mean that you cannot take a virtual trip to any destination and have fun.
With the virtual travel examples mentioned above, you can virtually explore the world—and you will have unlimited fun from the comfort of your home.
If you want to learn about other virtual tours online, click here to discover the best virtual garden tours in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions About Virtual Tourism Examples
Here are answers to some additional questions you may have about virtual tourism and virtual tourism examples.
What is an example of virtual tourism?
One of the best virtual tourism examples is experiencing the Grand Canyon through immersive virtual tours using VR technology. These tours give you a sense of being at this famous landmark without leaving your home.
What is virtual reality tourism?
Virtual reality tourism involves the use of VR headsets to provide immersive experiences of tourist destinations like Machu Picchu or the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a growing trend in the travel industry, offering a digital experience that closely mirrors the real world.
What is an example of a virtual reality?
A notable example of virtual reality is Google Earth VR, which allows users to explore global destinations such as Mount Everest or the Faroe Islands in an immersive 3D environment.
What is considered a virtual tour?
A virtual tour can range from 360-degree online visits of museum galleries, like viewing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, to VR hotel tours that allow potential guests to preview hotel rooms. Such tours use technology to simulate the experience of a destination.
What are the benefits of virtual tourism?
Virtual tourism offers accessibility and convenience, eliminates travel logistics, and can be a great marketing tool for tourism sectors like travel agencies and hoteliers. It allows potential customers to explore places and experiences, such as virtual wine tastings or yoga classes, without time zones or travel constraints.
What is an example of a virtual space?
Examples of virtual spaces include online exhibits in the Vatican Museums or immersive experiences offered by the Google Cultural Institute. These digital worlds allow for exploration and learning beyond physical boundaries.
How is virtual tourism used?
Virtual tourism is used by travel companies and tour operators to enhance marketing efforts, offering potential tourists a closer look at destinations. It’s also used in real estate for virtual events and video tours of rental properties, and by museums for online tours.
What are the disadvantages of virtual tourism?
The greatest challenge of virtual tourism is the lack of physical presence, which can impact the overall customer experience. It may also lack the emotional impact of the real thing and relies heavily on digital technology, which might not be accessible to all.
Are virtual tours worth it?
Virtual tours are a good idea for those who seek new experiences or want to preview a destination. They offer a convenient and cost-effective way to explore places like Yellowstone National Park or Bryce Canyon. While not a substitute for real-world travel, they provide a valuable glimpse into various locations and can be especially useful in the early days of planning a trip.
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About the Author: Jackie Gately
I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality. Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! Follow my social channels for more inspiration.
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