Virtual Reality Travel


From choosing your travel destination and selecting your hotel to booking a flight, virtual reality travel experiences will change the way you travel. The travel industry has been quick to adopt virtual reality as a way to target consumers. As virtual reality grows in popularity, you soon may find yourself strapping on an Oculus Rift or setting your phone in a Samsung Gear VR to help you make travel plans. More and more destinations, hotels, and airlines are adopting virtual reality as a marketing tool. Whether you use it to select your destination, book your hotel room, or distract you during your flight, virtual reality inevitably will become part of your travel experience.

 

 

Choosing a Destination with Virtual Reality


Individual travel destinations, including Florida’s Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Destination British Columbia, have already created virtual reality travel experiences aimed at attracting tourists. Additionally, hotels like Hilton, Renaissance, and Red Roof Inn have been leveraging virtual reality travel 360 solutions. The trend appears to be even more prevalent with tourist hotspots. Dollywood created a virtual reality travel experience of its newest rollercoaster, Disney created a VR video of its Broadway hit “The Lion King,” and the Mall of America created virtual reality travel experiences of several of its attractions.

Travel booking agencies, like Europe’s Thomas Cook and Singapore’s Flight Centre, offer customers virtual reality travel experiences of destinations in select stores to help customers choose destinations. Cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Lines and Fathom, have released virtual reality experiences of passengers’ on-shore experiences.

Virtual reality travel experiences aren’t intended to replace visiting a location, but to help travelers select destinations. With individual tourist attractions also creating virtual reality travel experiences, travelers will not only be able to use virtual reality to help them select a destination, but also to help them decide which attractions to visit while at that destination.

Virtual Reality Travel Challenges


Today’s travel market is highly competitive. The resulting fragmentation, of booking options and information, has driven consumers to seek an increasingly large amount of resources before committing to a purchase decision. Once-proven business-generating tactics — paid search, paid social, display ads, and affiliate marketing — are becoming less efficient and more expensive. One solution to this problem is the advent of Virtual Reality Travel.

According to a Google study, travel consumers typically make 350+ digital touchpoints before booking. Such fragmentation likely delays positive outcomes and explains why travel marketers have some of the lowest conversion rates in e-commerce. It’s no wonder why travel marketers are looking to Virtual Reality Travel to help solve these issues. By combining photos, videos, 360 images as well as purchase and booking functionality into a single experience, a traveler can get all the information they need in one impactful experience resulting in time saved and strong conversion.

Virtual reality content can be viewed both through a headset as fully immersive VR and across mobile and desktop as a 360?
video with reach that mirrors traditional video and engagement comparable to elaborate of experiential installations.

Virtual Reality Travel is working for Marketers


“Before travellers just had a brochure or information on the website to inform their choices. Virtual reality allows them to get a true sense of the hotel and the excursions they can go on–it’s been a real game changer for us.”

-Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer, Thomas Cook

 

“The YouVisit virtual experience is an extraordinary solution that helps our clients experience the best our resorts have to offer from the comfort of their own offices and homes.”

— Gaston Arellano Galicia, Multimedia Director, Grand Velas Resorts

How are Virtual Reality Tours Beneficial to Travel Marketers?


Virtual tours have been credited by industry leaders such as Best Western and Radisson as a valuable tool for increasing bookings and revenues.

Ultimately, 360 tours are a valuable resource for both travelers and tourist destinations and hotels.

For travelers, the tours can aid them in their research, giving them a true sense of their lodging options and giving them confidence in making reservations.

And for travel related businesses, 360 virtual tours can help them highlight their accommodations and amenities, attracting more visitors.

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