MIAMI – When we talk of traveling, it’s not just about the place, people and the features, it’s the experience. Anyone that has tried VR can confirm that the inauthentic version doesn’t hit the mark in many ways.

However, virtual reality helps provide a sneak peek into the real-life travel experience. This is why it is commonly used by travel companies and destination managers to woo potential vacationers and travellers. Despite the many benefits of VR travel, let us look at four reasons why it cannot replace the real-life experience.


1. It Lacks Natures Authenticity

Despite many attempts to falsify reality, we are reminded that nature cannot be 100% fabricated. There is just something about holding an object that can never be replaced. Moreover, vision isn’t your only sense and can be manipulated fairly easily.

VR travel has seen explosive popularity over the past few years. As revealed in the graph below from Compare the Market, the search interest for VR travel was even more pronounced in 2019 and 2020 especially in the US more than in the UK and Canada. One would argue that this was due to the travel bans associated with the pandemic. All the same, the virtual journey replicates most things about the real-life journey except the authenticity of nature.


2. No Real-Life Interaction with Your Surroundings

When you are on any journey, you will want to interact with your immediate environment. You will want to feel the breeze as you walk around, smell the scent of nature, and maybe touch whatever interests you. This is something that VR travel will always deny you. VR travel will only give you a taste of the physicality of the travel.

Therefore, one can say that other than VR travel trying to replace the real-life experience, it instead motivates physical travel. With an idea of what a particular journey would be like, then you become interested in experiencing it in reality.

3. Replacing Was Not the Intention of Its Invention

The invention of VR travel was to enable people to experience a little bit how physical travel was. One would compare it to the situation where you take a car for a test drive before you acquire it.

When you have experienced a certain journey through virtual travel, your need for adventure is ignited, and you find yourself planning for the real travel. Therefore, virtual travel was created to encourage physical travel itself since you will have an idea of what to expect.

Photo: Virgin Atlantic

4. Inhibits Discovery

Most of the discoveries made over the years have been due to the travels that people have made. Well, virtual travel is simply a pre-recorded version of the tour for virtual viewing. This inhibits the room for discovery.

The fact that VR travel cannot promote the discovery of new features and new experiences that come with real physical travel is enough reason why it can never replace the real-life experience that comes with physical travel.

VR travel has promoted the travel industry a great deal. However, you can never fully enjoy your excursions and tours as you would in the real-life journey. The above are just a few solid reasons why virtual tours cannot replace the real physical travel experience.

Featured image: Emirates VR expericne. Photo: Emirates