According to Techopedia, a virtual tour is the simulation of an existing location with the help of sequential videos or still images. Other multimedia elements that are also used to enhance this experience to make it realistic include sound effects, music, and floor plans. It is a 360° panoramic view of an existing place that we can view online or with a digital equipment.
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Virtual tourism is great to explore when physical travel is prohibited (as it is now with the coronavirus pandemic). With it, you get to see the breathtaking aerial views of mountain ranges, bustling cities and beautiful waterfalls, and also panoramic videos of mind blowing architectural wonders. It can even take you to places that are inaccessible at the moment.
With the right digital equipment, you can travel all over the world without leaving the comfort of your home. You can use a virtual reality (VR) tour to check off places on your bucket list without breaking the bank. Although it pales compared to an actual travel experience to create memories, it can prepare you for what to expect before arriving at any destination of choice.
Below are the recommended ways to enjoy virtual tourism:
1. Stock Up On Data
If you want to experience virtual tourism from your home without high-tech gadgets, you need to stock up on data. Viewing pictures and videos require more data than sending emails or SMS. Use networks with fast and reliable connectivity so there are no interruptions. You can sign up for binge data (a daily or weekly data bundle) from your mobile network . Or you can use Wi-Fi from a network’s modem or router. Buying data for the VR experience is far less expensive than physically travelling to the places on your bucket list.
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2. Make Sure You Have The Right Tech
If you want a more sophisticated experience than what you can get on your laptop or YouTube, then you need the right technology. There are different techs to use from hardware to software. While a VR user interface is an example of software technology, hardware technology involves a VR headset compatible with phones like the Oculus VR or without phones like the Oculus Go. This interface can be an audio or video tourist guide that ties virtual tours across a city on a map (Google Map).
3. Visit Websites and Apps with 3D VR Tours
The Smithsonian Magazine has an online Virtual Travel Blog with lots of 3D virtual tours to excite the mind. And while we may not have such for all Nigerian destinations online, there have been some strides made on VR experience in Nigeria. E.g. The Eko Atlantic mobile pre-launch app released in 2015. You can also check out vlogs or YouTube chamnels of Nigerian tourist destinations made by Nigerians.
4. Patronise Companies That Offer VR Tours
If buying tech isn’t your thing, you can opt for the service of a company that sells virtual tourism experience. Skyview Virtual Tours and Gidi Virtual Tours offer VR tours for Nigerian and other tour destinations. (Note: However, these companies are currently not open for business during the ongoing corona virus pandemic)
Virtual tourism is a superb way to entice people to travel. It also saves time spent on researching tourism destinations when planning vacations. Fully immerse yourself in a virtual reality experience this season to whet your craving for travel.
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