Over the last few years, we've seen a sharp rise in people staying at home rather than travelling to the continent to camp. But these people aren't visiting UK sites either, they're embracing the latest in VR technology to visit campsites virtually - yes you heard us right, we're talking about the newest trend 'VR Camping'.
Hailed as 'the future of camping' by some experts, virtual reality camping has seen a big increase over the last 3 years. It recently emerged that 1 in 3 Brits would opt to pitch up at a VR campsite rather than visiting a real site and you might think that this isn't good news for travel agents like us but you'd be wrong.
The story, which at first seems crazy, has been covered by news outlets around the world and has captured the attention of many but could it really be the future of our favourite pastime? We contacted Laner Sogar, CEO of Danish augmented reality startup, Urban Clavac for his vision of the future.
"We’re seeing more and more people using technology when accessing the great outdoors. For my team, it was the logical next step to actually stay at home when camping. Just imagine taking a vacation from the comfort of your own home."
While some campsite owners are unconvinced, many are embracing the trend by offering luxe virtual pitches with more space, personalised facilities and customisable views. Want a on-pitch jacuzzi with mountain views and room service (or should that be pitch service?) on Wednesday but a firepit on the beach on Thursday? With virtual worlds, anything is possible!
Daily Mail Online
Many will dismiss this as a fad but this craze has been bubbling away under the surface for some time and it shows no signs of going away quickly. The Independent have even compiled a list of the 'Top 5 campsites for virtual campers' and here, at Alan Rogers, our site assessors are visiting some of the most innovative virtual campsites, we're even launching a new category in our Alan Rogers Awards for 2019!
'Real' camping is still popular and multiple studies have proven the health benefits of getting outdoors and camping under canvas (we've done a blog about that, read it here) but some experts are warning that the 230% increase in virtual pitch bookings could overtake traditional campsite bookings within 3 years.
Head of Innovation and Development at Alan Rogers, Ben Tully said "We pride ourselves with over 50 years of innovation. We have always listened to our customers' needs and adopted new technologies before our competitors, that's why our guides are the current market-leaders. My team closely watches and forecasts travel trends, and moving forward we have to continue to innovate and adapt our business. And we've been doing just that, I'm very excited to announce something new".
Introducing the arVR - the UK's first virtual reality headset made with campers in mind.
This article is not accurate. It was published as an April Fool's prank in 2019.
Visual Design & Content Creation
Ben deals with all things design, working on the visual design of our annual guides, Destinations magazine, information leaflets, social media and email campaigns, and much more across the Alan Rogers, Rallies and Worldwide brands. He also produces written content for our blogs alongside our other contributors.
Largely self-taught, Ben studied Fashion Media at a university in London before realising graphic design was his calling and joined the Alan Rogers team in 2016. He is responsible for the design of all our Europe guides since 2018, Destinations magazines since 2020 and the ongoing development of our Worldwide business.