Virtual Reality is Reaching Travel Industry as Marketing Tool

Published 22 December 2015, 08:07

A variety of VR game content is coming this year, from roller coasters to destinations. Now, Virtual reality is spreading to the travel industry, and even become one of the marketing tools. Amazing contents has been produced to provide an opportunity for customers to experience all facilities in the attractions.

You can parasail and row virtually like being at Clearwater Tourism Board in Florida. In virtual reality content, you can drive a jet at Hamilton Island Queensland, Australia. You also have the opportunity to go swimming with tropical fish in the Great Barrier Reef. Watching a live concert of Broadway "The Lion King" is not impossible, even you can hear the opening song "Circle of Life", from the stands to backstage. Dream to stay at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah be closer to reality. You can have an online 3D tour around the room and hotel facilities in Dubai are super luxurious.

One of the pioneers of using VR as a marketing tool is YouVisit. They has made VR contents to some destinations, from Vatican City to Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico.
"VR is taking the world by storm, similar to what mobile did seven years ago. Virtual reality is the most realistic experience you can have of a place without being there. It's powerful. It gets people excited and engaged and interested in having that experience in real life,” said Abi Mandelbaum, CEO of YouVisit.

Either using Gear VR or cardboard, you can see the sky, the floor and any angle in all directions. According to Mandelbaum, the average time users spend on a VR content is 10 minutes. He still refer to it as an "eternity" in the digital world.

Additionally, a theme park, Dollywood also introduce VR content through a new ride called Lightning Rod and claimed as “the fastest wooden coaster in the world”. You can have VR experience before booking a trip. The ride has yet to be played in real, because it is estimated to be complete in March 2016.
"You can take your phone and spin it up and down, look behind you, to the left or right, to get an idea of what this ride is like," said Wes Ramey, Dollywood spokesman.

Due to the few consumers who have their own VR devices, the manufacturer VR provides a full demo with VR headsets in trade shows, shopping centers and even on the street. As a marketing technique, a spokesman Newlink, Lourdes Perez commented, "it is the next big things".

The next question, "whether the customers who have VR experience will no longer intend to go to a real things that is a real product?”. The producers are not worried about this. When YouVisit set up tents in Manhattan with 1,000 visitors who tried Carnival cruise VR content, incredible reactions occurred. They are more inclined to book the trip.


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