Touring the world, but not leaving the country

Reuters
Katsuo Inoue chose Italy for this year's summer vacation, and he enjoyed the travel a business class cabin soaking up the sights of Florence and Rome without ever leaving Tokyo.
Reuters

Japanese businessman Katsuo Inoue chose Italy for this year’s summer vacation, and he enjoyed the trimmings of a business class cabin soaking up the sights of Florence and Rome without ever leaving Tokyo.

Inoue, 56, and his wife “flew” as clients of Tokyo entertainment company First Airlines, which is tapping into a growing virtual reality travel market for Japanese holiday-makers grounded by coronavirus restrictions.

“I often go overseas on business, but I haven’t been to Italy,” he said. “My impression was rather good because I got a sense of actually seeing things there.”

Grounded travelers sit in first or business class seats in a mock airline cabin where they are served in-flight meals and drinks, with flat panel screens displaying aircraft exterior views including passing clouds. Destinations include Paris, New York, Rome and Hawaii.

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