Purpose: This study aims to investigate the effect of virtual reality experience quality on destination visit intention and virtual reality travel intention through the technology acceptance model (TAM). Design/methodology/approach: Quantitative data gathered from questionnaires applied to 198 people after undertaking an imaginary three-dimensional (3D) destination experience were analyzed with PLS-SEM. Findings: Virtual reality experience quality influences perceptions and intentions. The perceived ease of use affects perceived usefulness, perceived usefulness effects attitude and destination visit intention, while perceived risk affects only virtual reality travel intention. Attitude affects both intentions. Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of the study relates to the quality of the experience offered, which is limited to the technical capacity of the virtual reality glasses used. Virtual reality can be used as a new economic offering and create a realistic destination experience. Virtual reality experience quality is an important determinant of intention in physical and imaginary travels, in shaping perceptions and minimizing travel risks. The explanatory power of the model can be increased by adding the perceived risk variable to TAM. The study has brought new perspectives, new insights and suggestions for developing tourism. Originality/value: In the study, a 3D imaginary destination with its mise-en-scène and story, which includes more than one destination type, was designed. This study contributes to the literature by analyzing real and virtual visit intentions, combining the fields of the experience economy, risk perception and TAM.