The development of VR technologies means virtual travel is now almost as good as the real thing. Virtual tourists can both view any landmark in the finest detail from any angle and enjoy a full sensory experience. You can hear the sounds of Niagara Falls, run your hands over the stone walls of Machu Picchu, smell the fresh bread at a Sicilian market, or feel the sway of a mountain suspension bridge as you walk over it.
To some extent, virtual tourism offers even more opportunities. You can fine-tune your itinerary as you please, choosing not only the route and level of danger, but even the weather conditions. Speech recognition and synthesis technologies allow you to ask an AI tour guide about a landmark at any time, retaining full immersion. VR gloves allow you to handle digitized historical objects that you are not permitted to touch in real life. Even attractions closed for restoration or renovation in real life are always open to virtual visitors.
There is another apparent benefit: as the popularity of VR travel grows, the tourist flow to RR – “Real Reality” – has been decreasing. This helps preserve historical heritage and the environment in regions attractive to visitors. The Colosseum is no longer in danger of being dismantled stone by stone, and the unique biomes of national parks will be protected against damage from tourists going off the beaten track.