The travel sector have been early to adopt virtual reality as a marketing tool, Henry Stuart was invited to write a guest post Travolution.
Imagine jumping into a yellow cab in Times Square then abseiling down Table Mountain in Cape Town before taking in The Pyramids in Egypt, without having to leave your home. With the growth of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, whistle stop tours of exciting destinations around the world are being made possible, bringing with them valuable benefits for those within the travel industry.
If done well, VR will enable the viewer to be completely immersed and lost in the experience they are taking in behind the headset. For the travel industry, this provides an exceptionally powerful tool to showcase anything from destinations and key attractions, to hotel rooms and the views from them to prospective customers.
Earlier this month, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts became the latest brand to incorporate VR into their marketing, enabling consumers to explore their portfolio of hotels around the world through 360 degree videos.
Today, holiday brochures and even websites can only do some much to engage a customer, so it’s important to find a way to differentiate and stand out in a busy market. Incorporating VR into the purchase process gives customers an exciting and very real view of a destination, triggering a larger emotional response.
Thomas Cook’s ‘Try Before you Fly’ campaign is one example of how VR has helped drive sales by enabling potential customers to preview a holiday before they book. Run in-store initially, the campaign, which has seen an increase in holiday bookings by 190% gives shoppers a sneak preview of the restaurants, local attractions and hotels at a range of destinations. This brings the in-store experience to life, engaging customers on a far deeper level and giving them an honest view of a destination.