At $1104 Aussie dollars, VR certainly doesn’t come cheap. But that’s unlikely to dissuade thousands of VR fanatics in Australia come March as the new VR headset Oculus Rift rolls out across the country.

After a long and successful journey as a 2012 Kickstarter campaign, VR company Oculus finally put the Rift Virtual Reality headset up for pre-order last week.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for these last few years, the highly anticipated Oculus Rift promises to transport users into a virtual reality where they can actually feel like they’ve been transported into some other world.

The potential uses of this technology for the travel industry is very exciting. Being able to see what a destination is like before actually getting there will no doubt help travel companies sell a destination. All you need to do is put some goggles on, and although you won’t go anywhere, you can be transported anywhere – how cool is that!

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Of course, a handful of forward-thinking travel companies – most notably youth tour operator Contiki – are riding this wave well into the future, confident that this new technology will be an industry game changer. Contiki have already completely integrated virtual reality into filming their video content, creating 360 degree videos in full panoramic vision that put viewers right in the centre of all the action. 

For example, just recently Contiki Legends was shot with Devin Supertramp and his team off the Amalfi coast in Italy using VR technology (you can immerse yourself in this virtual world using Google Chrome or Firefox here).

The use of VR has been in the pipeline for some time at Contiki after it identified the technology last year as a new, exciting and completely immersive way to show their product offerings at trade shows. And according to Contiki Managing Director, Katrina Barry, Contiki are aiming to be the industry leaders in the use of this exciting technology.

How will the use of VR technology change the travel industry? Let us now in the comments below.