The impact of Virtual Reality and Sharing Economy on tourism
Technological innovations have impacted how tourist destinations are perceived and consumed (Huang et al, 2016). Virtual Reality(VR) and Sharing Economy technologies emerged within the Tourist industry and has sustainably developed for decades, they are two crucial trends that have affected and shaped the tourist industry and related industries, such as hospitality and transportation. This article will: firstly, introduce Virtual Reality technology and analyse the impact of it on tourist industry; secondly, elaborate the development of Sharing economy, the challenge it faced and further threats; thirdly, conclude the entire impacts of two technology trend on tourism. It is worthy to mention that this article emphasises the potential application of VR in the sharing economy enterprise to deal with existing development issues.
2. Virtual Reality
2.1 Definition and Development
In general, Virtual Reality technology provides a computer-simulated way to experience the environment which is imitated from the real world (Diemer, 2015). It enables users to achieve a realistic environment by involving multiple sense, including visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic (Slater and Usoh, 1993).
The first VR machine, which provided the illusion of being in a 3D immersive world, was invented by Morton Heilig, a filmmaker in 1957 (Dormehl, 2017). After the invention, VR technologies have been applied practically in a number of fields. It has been used as a medium to investigate mental disorders, such as threat perception, fear and exposure treatment, since 1990s (Rothbaum, 2009). Wirth et al (2007) illustrates that the VR technology has been modified to interact with users by sensing reaction and motion for deeper immersion in the virtual world. In the 21st century, VR technology witnessed rapid advancement, VR companies globally surged and VR devices spread over 46 countries within 6 continents (Greenlight Insight, 2017). This advancement was driven by the development of mobile technologies and the video game industry (VRS, 2016). The capabilities of high-density display and 3D graphics on smartphones made lightweight and low-cost VR devices possible (Dormehl, 2017) - the price of Google Cardboard which can create VR effect with smartphone application is less than $20. Therefore, according to (Tussyadiah et al, 2018), the availability and popularisation of VR devices contributed to the application of VR into the tourist industry.
2.2 Influence of Virtual Reality on tourism
The controversial discussion on the role of VR in tourism has been existed for decades. The disputing opinions are whether the VR view of a destination is either a substitution (Sussmann and Vanhegan, 2000) which could replace location moving of tourists, or a complement which could be a marketing tool for tourism (Guttentag, 2010; Huang et al, 2016). It is also possible that VR technology partly substitute types of trips...