What can Augmented Reality Be Used for in Tourism?
In a world where tourism was halted for years, it can be difficult to decide where to go next. One way to do this is by seeing some of it before you even leave your home. And since we can now travel again, tourist attractions need to do all they can to pull people back in.
Augmented reality can do wonders for the tourism industry. Taking tours where you can get all the information as you explore real world destinations or seeing 3D models before you book are all options that are being opened up thanks to AR technology. Here’s how AR is revolutionizing the tourism industry.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality is the use of computer-generated elements superimposed over the real world and visible through an AR compatible device, like glasses or a smartphone.
There are many different uses for augmented reality, including playing games where you can see the character in your own living room. You could even take pictures with them. Or redecorate your home before ever buying a product.
Augmented reality is different from virtual reality in the sense that AR takes place in your own real world, while virtual reality takes place in a completely fictional world. In AR you are in control of the surroundings, but not in VR. And generally you can use your own existing device to use AR programming, but you would need VR devices to have a completely immersive experience in virtual reality.
AR in Tourism
Augmented reality is revolutionizing the travel industry, and may change it completely. It starts when you are home, before planning and booking your trip even starts. In times when you can’t travel, like during the pandemic, you can still use elements of VR and AR to explore other areas.
At the hotel with AR technology your experience could completely change how you interact and enhance a visit. Including having all of the information at your fingertips in your own language.
Visiting destinations on your travels could completely change too, including choosing where you want to eat and what you want to see. It can be completely different from the way that we used to travel in the past.
How AR Tourism has Changed During the Pandemic
The pandemic had a massive impact on the world’s tourism industry. Every country in the world felt it since we were all stuck where we were. Even when travel was possible, we couldn’t really go out in big tour groups.
Augmented reality has helped us see the world from our own couches. Virtual reality tours have become a big attraction and have helped many different people explore the world while we were inside. It was also a way for tourist hot spots and museums to still make a living and keep their doors open in a time where no one was allowed to open them in reality.
You get to see places like museums or special attractions all around the world. Special tours are available for you to virtually explore the areas that you would have seen if you could have traveled.
Even now, tourism is still down from where it was before the pandemic. In areas where people can travel, many are still worried about going into areas that are too crowded. And a very real fear is that if you do plan a holiday for a few months away the numbers will rise again and it will be derailed.
But with new technology like AR it can give a boost to the tourism industry and give tourists a lot more options when they are traveling.
AR in Destination Marketing
Before you travel, AR can help you to choose your hotel room and plan your travels. Before choosing a hotel or a hotel room, some have a 3D model of the hotel room available for you to check out before you choose.
You can see everything from the layout and in some cases even choose your view. This cancels some of the uncertainty that comes for traveling for some. You know exactly where you are going. With augmented reality programs you can find out more about the different areas that you are visiting and plan your trip more fully.
For tourism companies that have taken a big hit during the pandemic, using AR technology can help them market destinations and hotels by giving their clients a broader view of what they have on offer. Giving them a little taste of the city they get to visit can allow them to feel an emotional response and get excited for the travels.
AR in Tourist Attractions
The real fun with augmented reality can begin when you get to your destination. Hotels are using AR tech to completely change their visitor’s experience. All of the questions visitors need answering can be answered by just pointing to a spot on the wall with their phones. Many times the information will also be available in more languages. Helping your clients get the answers they need.
If hotel workers aren’t busy with client questions it will also make their work more efficient. Hotels could also offer augmented reality tours. But these are also available in different AR apps. While you visit tourism spots you can get additional information as you explore. Each time you point towards a certain art piece, or a certain attraction, you can get all of the information that you could possibly need or want to know.
There is concern that AR could render tour guides obsolete. However, this option allows individuals to get a guided tour while without having to travel in a group. You can go where you want to at your own pace, and visit the areas that really interest you. Of course, most companies that offer these tours would still do them at a cost.
AR can be used in other ways too. For example, when you are trying to choose between a street full of restaurants you could just point your camera at each of them and get information on each one. Things like the menu, prices and dress code could all be available without needing to ask anyone. You could even see reviews in real time to help you choose. While this technology is still relatively new, it’s expected that this experience will become commonplace in the future.
Augmented reality definitely has a place in tourism and it can change things for the future. It will help with recovering the industry. And has a space in everything from marketing destinations to helping tourists find their way and explore their destinations.
AR could be a wonderful tool to help both tourists and tourism companies.