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Sports Tourism: What Impact Will Virtual Reality Have?

What Impact Will Virtual Reality Have On Sports Tourism

How will virtual reality impact sports tourism?
\Virtual reality hasn’t been around for a very long time, but in its short existence, it has made a huge impact. It has flipped the gaming industry on its head and is beginning to make movements in the entertainment business. However, among the more surprising industries where we have seen a major virtual reality boom is sports, specifically sports tourism.
Among the first tests of virtual reality technology was a virtual tour around the field at AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. That stoked the fire for even more developments, and in today’s blog post, SFM will look at how virtual reality will impact the sports tourism world as a whole.

What Is Virtual Reality?

To understand how virtual reality is impacting sports tourism, we have to understand what it is. Essentially, virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of something in a three-dimensional environment. There, seemingly, is no screen or point of access, as the user has full range of motion and sight around whatever environment they are in.
The technology is still developing, but right now most virtual reality simulations are done through a headset that more resembles a pair of goggles than a headset. For home virtual reality, your smartphone is often the screen.

How Is It Impacting Sports Tourism?

As we mentioned, one of the first examples of virtual reality being used in sports was in the virtual tour of AT&T Park, but as of late, the industry has been growing. As recently as last August, NBA superstar Kevin Durant hosted a YouTube Live virtual reality event where fans could sit in on an interview of Durant on their virtual reality headsets.
More recently, major sports leagues have become involved. In fact, the NBA streaming service — NBA League Pass — now has a virtual reality offering through NextVR that allows fans to sit courtside for games. All fans need is a headset and the NextVR app to participate.

What Does It Mean For The Future

The impact that this has on sports tourism for the future is fairly obvious. If virtual reality technology continues to develop, the desire for people to buy tickets for sporting events is going to go down. Will it be drastic? Who knows. Virtual reality is a great experience, but it can’t replicate the experience of being in the crowd at a sporting event. Virtual reality is an epic innovation for at-home sports fans. But you can’t replace the feeling of being in the crowd and hi-fiving strangers when your team does something good.

Contact SFM For All Of Your Sports Tourism Questions

Sports tourism is a major industry and while virtual reality is a threat, people aren’t going to stop going to sporting events. For all of your sports tourism questions, contact SFM at (727) 483-7910 or fill out our contact form for more information.  

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