Thomas Cook Virtual Holiday

Experience a Thomas Cook virtual holiday with ‘Try Before You Fly‘ produced by Visualise


Key Facts

Client: Thomas Cook
Partner: Samsung
Campaign: Try Before You Fly
Deliverables: 5x location shoots, HTLM5 web player, iOS and Android App for Google Cardboard
Location: Global
Project Date: Spring and Autumn 2015

The Challenge

Following a successful initial trial at the Bluewater Concept Store, Thomas Cook, a pioneer in the travel and tourism industry for more than 170 years, commissioned Visualise to produce a range of immersive 360 VR films. Potential holidaymakers visiting flagship stores in the UK, Germany and Belgium are invited to experience a series of virtual holidays on the Samsung Gear VR, a partner on this campaign.

virtual reality holiday

The Solution

After agreeing the creative brief and key locations for the roll out, a small team travelled to Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, New York and Singapore over the course of a few months to capture the required content which included using a custom underwater rig to film the snorkelling excursion in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

“Thanks to working with Visualise Thomas Cook was the first travel company to deliver in-store virtual reality to customers, we’ve been nominated for numerous innovation awards, and we’ve seen a good conversion rate for bookings made after viewing the VR content.”

Lynne Slowey, Head of Digital Content, Thomas Cook


The bespoke content features a variety of destinations offered by Thomas Cook, allowing customers to enjoy a range of ‘taster’ experiences, such as a helicopter tour of Manhattan, a trip to the pool at a SENTIDO resort in Rhodes, visiting the Egyptian pyramids, or taking a walk along the OCBC Skyway in Singapore, without leaving the store.

Embodying Thomas Cook’s strategy of offering customers a high tech, high touch experience across all omni-channel touch points, we also created a Thomas Cook Holiday 360 App. This can be downloaded to iOS and Android phones to view the experiences in Google Cardboard headsets outside of the in-store experience.

The Results

Launched in January 2015, the in-store virtual reality experience was well received by the press including Bloomberg, PSFK and Marketing Week. In the first 3 months it generated flights and hotel bookings totalling £12k in UK and Germany and has seen a 40% return on investment. There was an 180% uplift in New York excursions revenue proving that what people do in the destination is just as important as going to the destination itself.

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