Travel and Tourism Industry will no longer be the same
Tourism Industry is one of the most important industries in Kenya today. When tourism declines as it has done over the past three years, the country’s currency plummets with unimaginable magnitudes. In 2015 for example when the tourism sector was at its lowest in the recent times, Kenya Shillings hit its lowest of shs 106 against the dollar.
Revenues from air tickets, and site charges; revenues collected by hotels and tour and travel operates, are all set to dwindle as tourists opt to experience tourism through Virtual Reality technologies. With Virtual Reality, tourists are already visiting their favorite beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, museums, and other thousand tourism destinations without leaving their homes. The only fees these tourists are required to pay are the fees associated with access to the Virtual Reality tourism contents.
A Virtual Reality content creator hidden somewhere in the heart of Europe will one day visit Nakuru National Park, capture 360 videos of the park, copyright the video, create a Virtual Reality content, and sell that content to millions of tourists across the globe. This content creator will not only deny Nakuru National Park the opportunity to earn the much needed revenue for maintaining the park, but will also reap a fortune by selling the Virtual Reality content to the millions of potential tourists most of whom, after experiencing the Park in the Virtual Reality world, will see no need to spend thousands of Euros to come and see the same things in real life here in Kenya.
Even if Kenya’s tourism sector opts to create and provide the tourism experiences in Virtual Reality, the revenue it will collect by selling the content online may surpass the current revenues it collects through site charges and gate collections, but the absence of real life tourists using airlines, hotels and tour and travel firms will kill those tourism supported sub-sectors. After the Virtual Reality content has been availed online in a seamless manner, the real life counterparts of those contents may die a few years after tourism industry has been disrupted by Virtual Reality.
On the positive side, tourists are already experiencing a diverse range of tourism activities simply by putting on their Virtual Reality headsets. For instance Destination BC already created a 360 video called with Wild Within VR Experience where Virtual Reality viewers can take a journey through a VR park. Another non-profit Virtual Reality travel organization called AirPano has captured 360 images and videos of over 300 famous places globally that one can visit simply by wearing a Virtual Reality headset.
In the organization’s profile intro, it is stated that”AirPano is a not-for-profit project focused on high-resolution spherical panorama shots from a bird’s eye view. Being the largest resource for 360° aerial panoramas and virtual tours in the world – by geographical coverage, number of aerial photographs, and artistic and technical quality of the images, AirPano has already photographed over 300 most interesting locations on our planet. There are nearly 3000 360° panoramas on our website at the moment.” As already mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, you need to pay to view the AirPano images e.g. to view the Great Migration in Kenya.