Innovation could help bring in more revenues for industries, for the government, and for the overall economy. It is a never-ending process and a way in which industries learn to adapt to the changing needs and wants of the general public (Schaffer & Paul-Chowdhury, 2002).
In this postmodern society, some of the best innovations are through media. The dawn of computers and information technology (IT) has also been the go signal for media innovations. The wonders of the internet has already brought us online social networks, not to mention blogs, forums, and chat rooms where people of all walks of life can put across their personal sentiments, conduct their private businesses or simply socialize while glued to their seats. This virtual enterprise has especially made a difference on the business interests of the tourism industry. Governments from various countries as well as private companies specializing in travel and tours are now seeing the cost-efficient way of promoting native destinations to the rest of the world via the internet (Steinbock, 2003, pp.109-121). There is no need to send travel brochures or pamphlets by manual mail. Today, the tourism industry can simply build websites with state-of-the-art “Virtual Tour” features and attract tourists from around the world.
Virtual tourism has had a mixed reception, which is why this essay will scrutinize its benefits and disadvantages in modern-day tourism. Following a discussion on the pros and cons of this ground-breaking media innovation, this essay will also present a country case study dealing with the impact of virtual tours and virtualization in Portugal.
Virtual tours are mock models of sceneries, shops, or places that help to promote the real ones. Also a kind of virtual reality accessible through several tourism websites, virtual tours are a set of continuous pictures, videos, and other multimedia that enables viewers to move from place to place with just a