Tourism is one of the most important sectors in the global economy, it represents 10% of the world GDP and it has growth for ten consecutive years.
As tourism numbers climb to new records every year, destinations are being overwhelmed by massive crowds, air and water pollution , and the rising price of housing.
VR Tourism is a reality, and is here to stay. We want to harness the potential of Oculus to better educate and create higher empathy between potential tourists and local destinations
Design for Sustainability
We started our journey by exploring diverse aspects of Oculus value constellation. We analyzed its history, its value proposition, it's current challenges, and its position in the VR industry,
Their Stand toward Sustainability
Corporate environmental strategic tools like the AUUDIO and the sSWOT were used for assessing key environmental challenges that can shape strategic risks and opportunities. With the help of these tools, we found out that the major environmental challenges of Oculus are related to excessive energy consumption, the use of harmful plastics and minerals for the manufacturing process, and potential air and ocean pollution generated by their distribution activities.
Oculus should make its manufacturing process and product specifications way more sustainable.
However, we believe that major opportunities reside in using VR to foster sustainable behaviors in the physical world to offset their carbon emissions. In addition, they can use the unique advantages of Facebook's powerful Social Media Ecosystem to boost their VR impact.
VR for Sustainable Tourism
Our research on tourism revealed great opportunities for Virtual Reality and Social Media to foster sustainable behavioral change. Tourism is a major economic activity for the world, and it is an important source of revenue for developing nations. However, when mismanaged it can have significant negative environmental and social impacts. We want to use VR to foster sustainable growth and provide development opportunities at all levels of society and the environment.
We want to bridge VR and social media and tourism to foster sustainable growth and enable holistic development, at all levels of society and the environment
We believe we can do so by
- Promoting local communities and businesses.
- Promoting sustainable activities and NGOs.
- Discourage harmful practices.
- Increasing tourist etiquette.
With our initial idea in mind, we conducted evaluative research to test some of our assumptions and measure people's attitudes toward sustainable tourism. We found that people feel that as tourists they have contributed to environmental and social harm, and they want better ways to educate themselves and be mindful and helpful with their travel destinations.
We chose Kellog's Logic model to present the relationships among the resources we need to operate, the activities we plan, and the results you hope to achieve.
We connected storyboards with scenario mapping to describe user-case stories. In addition, we used the 5Es framework to provide a general view of the different touchpoints in our experience.
Since Oculus is part of the Facebook group, we want to harness Facebook's powerful social media ecosystem to launch our experience. When users are attracted to videos or images of travel destinations, they can click on strategically placed buttons that will lead them into Oculus Explore. Additionally, we will be offering pop-up VR experiences in airports and transportation terminals, where users can engage with Oculus Explore right before they travel to their destinations.
The VR Experience
Once they enter Oculus Explore, users will be able to learn about local cultures, enhance their tourist etiquette, and learn how to preserve local species. Plus, they will be able to book green eco-lodges and other sustainable activities such as restorative scuba dives. Lastly, they can support local NGOs that are committed to fair-trade, women's rights, or the preservation of natural landscapes.
Mindful Tourist Certificates
Users who contribute to local destinations through Oculus Explore will receive Mindful Tourist certificates. This initiative will include travel rewards and access to exclusive experiences that are restricted to the majority of the public. Moreover, they will be able to receive virtual updates of the communities they support. In the long term, they can be rewarded by migratory authorities committed to promoting sustainable tourism in their countries