Augmented Reality Is Changing Tourism and Travel

So many aspects of our lives have improved thanks to technology, and there is yet another facet that has just gotten better with it – tourism. Research says that traveling brings a person more happiness and fulfillment than material things do. When people visit new places, they learn plenty of interesting new things and get to expand their horizons.

Traveling has gotten a lot of advantages with the rise of augmented reality (AR) technology over recent years. Getting information and guidance has never been more convenient. There are plenty of methods on how AR is used by different people to improve their businesses’ customer service.

Hotels and/or accommodation

Hotels have started giving virtual tours of their property, showing facilities and rooms in a more detailed manner. Not only that, their virtual tour includes the  surrounding streets so guests can view key places of interest just a few minutes away from the hotel.

The hospitality industry has significantly improved with the latest augmented reality technology. Hotels can appeal to new potential guests by showing them the amenities through interactive virtual tours of the sort. People can check out the hotel’s facilities in the comfort of their own homes because it is very convenient to do so. Knowing about the hotel beforehand and checking it out may increase bookings. Brochures and posters can be a thing of the past by making use of AR.

Transportation and navigation

No more accidentally getting lost in a foreign city as Augmented Reality is set to become a helpful city tour guide, offering useful information like bus routes, important destinations to look out for, and more.

Going around a foreign place can be overwhelming, and it’s certainly terrifying to accidentally get lost. Augmented reality can help travelers feel more comfortable in unfamiliar places by giving clear directions. With a smartphone or tablet, a person just has to point at a particular spot to know the route they need to take. A simple map at the metro or a pick-up schedule at a bus station can be a helpful interactive guide with the latest AR technology.

Language barriers

Much like point and shoot, travelers can get real-time translations by simply pointing their mobile cameras on foreign text. Google Translate has already started rolling out this feature

Usual translating applications can be helpful, but they are not always accurate. Nowadays, AR allows tourists to translate language in real-time as they hear it. Some guides or maps also become available in different languages in an instant. Aside from various languages, some engineers are also using augmented reality technology to aid communication by translating sign language into readable text. There also exist applications and virtual reality games that teach sign language to its users. This kind of technology makes communication easier and even more inclusive for everyone, not just for travelers.

Tourist attractions

Abu Dhabi has won the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Augmented Reality (AR) Screen’ as part of their advertising campaign to promote the UAE as a holiday destination.

Not everyone is fond of going along on travel tours because they might prefer to go at their own pace. For these travelers, they might miss out on fascinating information about the tourist attraction because they have no travel guide. This is where augmented reality comes in. All they have to do is scan and point and they can unlock audio files or videos related to the attraction. This is particularly helpful with parks, museums, and zoos as well, giving background information to pique interest. Technology makes it possible to observe and learn differently.

Dining out

Mobile apps like India’s Yeppar have started working on AR food menus to allow customers to see their food before ordering it.

Restaurants and cafés can use AR to their advantage by making menus with the technology. A customer may point to a specific item and immediately know information about it such as ingredients and nutritional information. They can also view a picture or even a video of the dish they are eyeing. Some people second-guess their orders because they don’t know what it will look like, so augmented reality can encourage people to try out new things.

It is truly amazing how far technology has come to be able to engage and interact with so many people. Information is buzzing at everyone’s fingertips with the richer user experience that AR provides. With all these benefits from the technology, it’s a wonder why not everyone has used it to their advantage yet. However, one thing is for sure – this development will continue to grow fast and make waves in the digital world.

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