According to Statista, total retail travel sales across the globe reached $22.049 trillion, up 6.0% from the previous year. By 2019, the online travel industry is forecast to grow to 762 billion U.S. dollars.
A majority of travel buyers are utilizing varies web based platforms and sites to gather information, read reviews or to make reservations. According to the Association of British Travel Agents, 76% of UK internet users booked their travel using an online platform while in the US, E Marketer estimated 52% of travel buyers used an online platform. This is evidence that makes digital marketing for the travel industry a critical success factor.
Travel buyers want to be immersed in their travel experience, even before they leave their home to begin the journey. Virtual Reality offers a travel buyer the opportunity to take a test drive on what they will experience in a given destination. Using VR to bring your travel buyer on that walk on the beach, or a hike up the mountain pass, all from the comfort of their home would have seemed impossible just a few years ago.
Today all of that and more is available and travel destinations that see it and embrace it will no doubt reap the rewards. But this is an industry with a history of being last to adopt and for those who continue to wait it out, well the future is just not as good.