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Virtual Travel is Really Taking Off During COVID-19

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Virtual tours have long been used in travel marketing to give prospective visitors an immersive look at properties and attractions. But such online tools were intended to entice travelers to book travel—not to offer an alternative to it. Few travelers would have ever dreamed of settling for a digital simulation in place of the actual thrill of a real travel experience, and no destination would risk losing bookings by offering a virtual walkthrough sophisticated enough to compete with reality.

However, during the pandemic lockdowns, “virtual travel” experiences are being embraced both by wary would-be travelers looking for a cure for cabin fever and by struggling travel and tourism businesses looking for a new source of revenue during these lean times. It’s a surprising trend that we uncovered as part of our ongoing research with our proprietary 360 Travel Community.

virtual travel infographic
Virtual travel, real opportunity: What consumers are willing to spend for online travel experiences.

In fact, in our latest survey, 51% said that virtual travel could satisfy their desire to travel during the pandemic. And virtual tourism still works as a marketing tool, giving potential travelers ideas for real travel in the future. It’s a win-win for both cautious travelers and for struggling travel businesses. Want to learn more details from our proprietary research? Contact us today to schedule time with our research expert to review our study and other related travel studies in more detail.

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