When I look well out on the horizon, I envision a time when the travel industry begins to lose business and virtual reality travel steps in to offer affordable virtual travel anywhere, anytime. Of course I didn’t imagine that such an offering would already come to fruition, but heck, technology progresses rapidly, right?
A South African travel agency, called Contiki, has just announced what they say is the world’s first virtual reality itinerary, free from all the worries of lost luggage, terrorist attacks and delayed flights. Called ‘Virtually Unlimited‘, Contiki’s travel packages feature the choice of multiple destinations, all of which stimulate each of the five senses.
“We have been experimenting with virtual reality for over 18 months now and are proud to be the first travel company in the world to introduce complete virtual reality travel itineraries for all senses. As people increasingly become time-poor and technology improves, Contiki is redefining travel and taking it to the next level. Our new ‘Virtually Unlimited’ product is the future of travel and a disruptor to the entire tourism industry, especially for airlines and accommodation providers,” said Kelly Jackson, General Manager for Contiki South Africa.
Currently customers, who are willing to pluck down 1499 South African Rand (Approximately $100) will receive a fully immersive virtual reality experience that lasts around three hours. They will be able to choose between climbing Peru’s Machu Picchu, visiting Oktoberfest in Munich, paragliding in Sweden, cycling through Vietnam or discovering the Iguazu Falls in South America. These experiences will not be just any old VR experience, instead there will be smells and tastes along the way, and they will even invoke your sense of touch (think climbing, biking etc).
“One of the main benefits of our ‘Virtually Unlimited’ itineraries is that travellers get the high of travel without the investment. They don’t have to leave the country, don’t need to take weeks of leave and don’t have to save up for flights and accommodation, and we predict this is the way people will ‘travel’ in the future. All it takes is a three-hour visit to one of the three Contiki VEC’s,” added Ms Jackson.
While this is likely only the very start for the VR travel industry, it certainly seems like an interesting use-case for this upcoming technology. Would you spend $100 for a 3-hour VR vacation? Let us know in the Contiki VR Travel forum on VRTalk.com. Check out the video below promoting Contiki’s travel packages.