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Virtual Reality has transformed the world globally. It offers a simulated experience that employs pose tracking and 3D near-eye displays to give users an immersive feeling of the virtual world. The new technology has changed travel and hospitality immensely. For consumers, it is a new video-based medium for their armchair wanderlust. 

Virtual Reality in tourism is a concept that has been discussed previously. Several virtual travel apps, such as Qantas, British Airways, and Marriott, have already made their mark in the market. Today, platforms such as Facebook and YouTube have major sites that support 360-degree content as well. 

What are Virtual Reality apps for Tourism?

Virtual reality apps for tourism utilize virtual reality technology to offer users an immersive experience of a destination or attraction. Such apps can explore every nook and corner of the world without being physically present. 

Why have Virtual Reality apps for tourism become popular?

Reasons behind the popularity of VR apps for tourism

Virtual reality apps for tourism have become crucial for several reasons. They are listed below-

1. Immersive Experience 

Virtual reality apps for tourism provide a seamless and immersive experience by transporting users to different locations without physically being there. They can explore many tourist destinations, attractions, and landmarks fully immersive and interactively.

2. Convenience 

Through the use of virtual reality apps in tourism, users can explore different places across the world. Hence, it is constructive for people who cannot travel due to various financial, physical, or time constraints.

3. Cost-Effective 

Virtual reality apps in tourism would not burn a hole in your pockets, and they are generally less expensive than traveling to a physical landmark or location. Hence, one can explore different places worldwide without incurring any travel expenses. 

4. Educational 

Virtual Reality apps in tourism have proven to be efficient in imparting education as they make users aware of different cultures, history, and geography while exploring various tourist destinations in a virtual environment.

5. Innovation

Virtual Reality in tourism offers a new and innovative way for users to explore different tourist destinations and attractions. 

Why should you choose 360/VR for your application?

VR applications benefit the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries immensely. As mentioned above, one of their primary purposes is to create a novel and immersive experience for users. There can be no better marketing tool than a VR app to increase the number of visits by users. 

VR experiences have helped many companies sell destination trips in the past. The reasons behind the success of their VR apps are manifold. 

1. Firstly, it encourages employees to start conversations with guests.

2. Secondly, the VR experiences are more vivid than just using words to describe them, with images and sound helping to bring them to life.

3. Thirdly, guests obtain a first-hand view of what they can expect from the place, which makes them more excited.

4. Lastly, VR helps explain experiences that are difficult to describe or if the guest speaks a different language than the employee. 

Hence, what you wish to feature in your 360/VR application and your end goal are the areas that need our focus. What do you want to convey through 360 images and video?

How to shoot or produce 360-degree content for your application?

360-degree content: production

Shooting user-engaging 360-degree media for your VR application is one of the most significant steps. The media content is an amalgamation of 360 camera images, 360 videos, 2D images or videos for hotspots, and auxiliary audio. 

Let’s take a look at all of the aspects involved in brief-

1. 360 images

To create 360-degree content, you can use any popular 360 camera that can export images in jpg or png format, as these are the only permitted image formats for upload. 

If you portray several destinations in your application, take a 360-degree image and use it as a home screen. Although it is important to note that the farther away the objects are in the picture, the more difficult it will be to see them in the app. Hence, consider the camera placement before taking the image. 

2. 360 videos

Keep the length of the videos you shoot relatively short. It is better to put multiple scenes that are edited together rather than showcasing a single long video. Additionally, while choosing a camera for video-specific apps, choosing a camera with 4K quality or better is highly recommended. 

3. 2D Images or Videos for Hotspots

Apart from the 360-degree content, you can add engaging or informative hotspot overlays on your 360 media. For example, you are adding a close-up view of various features at a resort for users to see or photoshop a png/jpg image along with text facts. You can enhance your 360-degree images by adding 2D videos, and Hotspots offer many creative options. Bring a DSLR camera or a high-quality phone to your shoot to capture additional hotspot media.

4. Supplementary Audio

To make the experience more engaging and informative for the viewers, mainly if you use images instead of videos, add narration or music to provide extra information to your audience, especially for travel apps. 

To do this, you must record your audio in mp3 format. When deciding on the length of your audio, consider how long users will view each scene in your app.

Thus, shooting a large amount of content to choose the best ones is advisable. Additionally, including hotspots can be beneficial for creating engagement and a whole sensory experience. 

What are the benefits of virtual reality apps in tourism?

Advantages of VR app in tourism

Apart from offering an immersive experience to users in exploring different destinations in and around the world and simultaneously being cost-effective, there are several benefits of virtual reality apps in tourism as well. These are mentioned below-

1. The immersive experience allows the users to imagine themselves at a travel destination and, simultaneously be in control of what they see of a goal.

2. All the aspects of a particular place are portrayed in high resolution.

3. The technology allows hotels, conventions, and visitor bureaus (CVBs) to stand out.

4. Virtual tourism also helps lessen tourism’s impact on vulnerable destinations. 

Obstacles encountered during the development of the VR app for tourism

Before beginning your virtual app development process, being aware of the challenges and issues various virtual reality companies face worldwide is integral. The challenges faced by virtual reality app companies are given below-

1. Audience

Virtual reality technology is expensive and futuristic; most people worldwide still use their smartphones without any VR devices. Hence, it becomes difficult for app owners to garner tremendous audience support for their modern visual content.

2. Budget

A sufficient budget is one of the main requirements in the VR app development process. With a potential budget, one can avoid chalking out an unpleasant return on investment (ROI) from the total capital your VR application raised. 

3. Poor quality content 

If your app does not show its users quality content, it will fail in obtaining the much-needed app traffic, even if your audience has separate VR devices. Presently, videos are shot with 4K quality. Thus you must provide visual content in Full HD (1050p) format, which involves considerable data download and upload access. Additionally, you must pay attention to the quality and uniqueness of the content.

4. Following incorrect business strategies

Sometimes, app developers and owners can follow the wrong business strategies while being impatient about new market opportunities. It can often lead to the app failing to reach the correct target audience and ultimately spoil the whole VR app-building outcome for the app owners. 

5. Health measures

In the virtual reality app business, one can get criticized by some health organizations and institutions worldwide. 

Hence, one should always be prepared to give answers and provide the following:

  • Solutions to tackle any health issues associated with VR apps and devices, such as motion sickness, eye strain, and fatigue.
  • Psychological effects like anxiety, stress, and disorientation.
  • Musculoskeletal issues like neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. 

Most successful virtual reality apps for tourism

There are several successful virtual reality apps for tourism in the market that have managed to gain popularity among travelers. As technology continues to grow and transform daily, more innovative VR apps in tourism are also expected to be seen. Some of the most prominent players are-

1. Google Earth VR

Google Earth is a popular geolocation software that allows users to use it as an aerial camera for exploring the world from their computers or mobile devices. The software was developed and released on June 10, 2001, by Google.

2. YouVisit

YouVisit is another famous virtual reality platform allowing users to explore over 1,000 destinations worldwide. The platform utilizes 360-degree videos and photos to provide travelers with an immersive and realistic virtual travel experience from the comfort of their homes.

3. The VR Museum of Fine Art

The VR Museum of Fine Art is a virtual reality app that offers the virtual experience of traveling to famous art museums worldwide. The app includes high-quality reproductions of famous artworks and allows users to interact with the exhibits uniquely and immersively.

4. The VR Gorilla 

The VR Gorilla is another famous virtual reality app that allows users to get an authentic wildlife experience in its natural habitat. The app includes many adventures, such as a gorilla trek in Uganda and a safari in Tanzania. 

5. Vrse

Vrse is a famous virtual reality platform whose main niche lies in storytelling. The app has a wide range of virtual reality experiences, including travel and adventure experiences, that allow users to explore destinations more effectively. 

6. Discover VR

The app offers users virtual tours of different destinations, including virtual safaris, shark dives, and tours of national parks. The app is available for free on the Oculus Store and Google Play. 

How can virtual Reality in tourism help with travel planning and decision-making?

With virtual Reality making its place in the tourism industry, travelers and destinations can benefit from this new-age travel technology.

With virtual reality, choosing the right hotel, suitable attractions, and travel destination has become a cakewalk for travelers worldwide. 

VR apps allow users to preview things they might do on a trip and where they might stay, which ultimately helps them in making the right decision. 

Apart from this, virtual reality technology helps users with trip planning. Instead of grappling with the issue of whether they will enjoy a particular destination or not, with the help of such apps, users can see if they will like it. Additionally, VR technology is an effective way for users to figure out how much they need to pack depending upon the space provided in the hotel they choose to stay at.

Regarding businesses, virtual reality tours of various destinations and hotels can be an incredible marketing tool. Such tours can be shared on social media platforms, the company’s website and other avenues to attract more travelers. 

In addition, VR technology in tourism offers a chance for businesses to set themselves apart from their competitors. 

Necessary components of a virtual reality app for tourism 

A virtual reality app for tourism needs to include some critical details. The specific requirements may differ depending on the app’s intended purpose. 

1. Realistic 3D models

The virtual environment must be created using high-quality 3D models that provide users with an accurate representation of the destination’s landmarks, landscapes, and attractions. It can be achieved with specialized 3D modeling software or captured using 360-degree cameras.

2. Interactive IU

One of the essential factors behind a successful app is for it to have a user-friendly interface that allows users to navigate the virtual atmosphere, get access to information about specific locations, and interact with virtual objects.

3. Audio and visual effects

The app should carry realistic sound effects and visuals such as noise, weather effects, and lighting changes. It will allow users to delve into a practical and immersive experience. 

4. Multilingual support

The app should support multiple languages so that a wide range of audience can easily access it. 

5. Compatibility with VR headsets 

It is necessary for the app to be compatible with VR headsets, such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Google Cardboard, to create a fully immersive experience for users.

6. Integration with tourism services

The app could fuse with local tourism services such as hotels, restaurants, and tour guides. It would help users in planning their trips and book activities in the virtual environment.

7. Social media sharing

The app could also include social media sharing capabilities that allow users to share their virtual travel experiences with near and dear ones and boost user engagement. 

How does VR technology work, and how is it integrated into the app

Virtual reality technology curates a simulated experience for the user that can be experienced via headsets. Head and hand tracking are often used to allow the users to move and interact within the environment.

To witness a VR experience, users wear VR headsets that portray two slightly different images, one for each eye, which creates the 3D effect. The headsets also involve sensors that track users’ head movements and enable them to look around and explore the virtual space. Specific VR systems also have hand controllers or other input devices that allow users to interact with the virtual world.

Regarding tourism apps, developers must create a 3D model of the destination or environment, along with many interactive elements. They are also required to program the VR experience to deliver the response to the user input. For example, they allow users to move around or interact with objects. Ultimately, they must optimize the experience to function seamlessly on various VR headsets and devices.

Objectives to keep in mind while creating a VR app for a specific tourist destination

Points to keep in mind while creating a VR app for a specific tourist destination.

1. Define the objective 

The first step is to define the objective of your VR app. It could offer tourists a virtual destination experience before they arrive, portray various attractions and activities available, and encourage them to visit the place.

2. Conduct market research 

It is an integral step of the app development process to conduct market research to better understand your target audience, their needs, preferences, and what they expect to see in a VR app. Hence, the study would contribute to the design of the app.

3. Identify the key features.

With the help of market research, plan on different features you wish to include in your app, such as 360-degree videos of the destination, virtual tours of famous landmarks, audio guides, interactive maps, and user-generated content. 

4. Design the user interface

The user interface integrated into the app must be intuitive and easy to navigate. Focus on developing a clean, minimalist design with high-quality visuals, animations, and sound effects to amplify the user experience.

5. Develop the app

Develop your VR app using the latest technologies like Unity, Unreal Engine, or WebVR. Optimize the app for different VR devices and platforms, including Oculus, HTC Vive, and Google Daydream.

6. Test the app

Before launching the app, running it through various quality tests is integral to ensure that it runs smoothly, without any glitches or bugs. Test the app on different VR devices to ensure quality assurance and compatibility.

7. Launch the app

Once the app has been tested, the next step is to launch it on relevant app stores such as Google Play and the IOS. Following this, one can promote their app on social media platforms and other marketing channels to gather user traffic.

7.1    How to publish your VR app for tourism?

Android/IOS/Google Cardboard

You can use Android/Google/IOS to present your app to a broad audience. You can also post your app on your Apple or Google developer account to reach a larger audience or self-host on Android.apk. 

Gear VR/Google Daydream 

Gear VR and Google Daydream are effective mobile headsets appropriate for displaying your app on the go or at your business.

HTC Vive/ Oculus Rift

If you have a fixed location or destination where you wish to showcase your VR, Vive or Rift are great choices. Although the devices are expensive and tethered to a computer, they are suitable for displaying high-quality 8K 360 media. 


WebVR helps advertise your VR experiences on other headsets, especially Facebook or your website. However, it is less efficient than native apps due to differences in frame rates per second. 

8. Monitor and update the app

Monitor the app and use user feedback and app analytics to identify the areas that need improvement and update the app accordingly. Additionally, continue adding new features and content regularly to keep user engagement high. 


In conclusion, developing a VR app for tourism can enhance the travel industry by providing unique and immersive experiences to users. Following our guide, you can create a cutting-edge app that takes users on a virtual journey worldwide. With the right approach and attention to detail, you can bring new and exciting travel opportunities to people everywhere.

This is where Idea Usher comes in. Our team of experts use cutting-edge technologies to help you create a high-quality, easy to navigate through, and user-friendly app that suits your business needs and strikes a chord with your target audience. 

Contact Idea Usher today.

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Q. What are virtual reality apps for tourism?

ANS: Virtual reality apps for tourism utilize virtual reality technology to offer users an immersive experience of a destination or attraction. Such apps can explore every nook and corner of the world without being physically present. 

Q. What are the benefits of virtual Reality apps for tourism?

ANS: There are many benefits of virtual reality apps for tourism. The immersive experience allows the users to imagine themselves at a travel destination and simultaneously be in control of what they see of a goal. All the aspects of a particular place are portrayed in high resolution. The technology allows hotels, conventions, and visitor bureaus (CVBs) to stand out.

Q. Why have virtual reality apps for tourism become famous over the years?

ANS: Virtual reality apps have become famous due to their immersive experience, technological advancements, versatility, convenience, and entertainment value.

Q. How can Idea Usher help you in building a virtual reality app for tourism?

ANS: Idea Usher can help in building a virtual reality app for tourism by providing a comprehensive range of services, including conceptualization, designing, development, testing, and deployment. Additionally, they can ensure the app is compatible with various VR devices, provide maintenance and support, and help with marketing and promotion to attract potential users.

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