VR Travel Experience for South African Tourism

Visualise creates the world’s first VR travel experience for SAT


Key Facts

Client: South African Tourism
Partners: SomethinElse, UM London and Tribe
Campaign: South Africa: a 5-minute holiday
Deliverables: Oculus DK2, Samsung Gear VR
Location: London and Manchester launch. Showcased at global travel shows including World Travel Market and New York Times Travel Show
Project Date: Spring 2015

The Challenge

Use VR travel to change the perceptions of South Africa as a travel destination and help South African Tourism target the affluent under-40s market through an immersive 5 Minute Holiday. Using Oculus Rift DK2 and Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headsets, we allowed the viewers to abseil down Table Mountain, swim with sharks, kite surf, paraglide and feed elephants – all without leaving the UK.

The Solution

Filmed entirely on location in South Africa, the video was shot using a series of cameras in 3D printed mounts to create a full 360-degree effect. Along with our friends at SomethinElse we also pioneered the use of 360 degree sound to accompany the video, creating a truly immersive experience.

“As far as we know, this is the first time a tourism board based in the UK has used Oculus Rift to showcase their destination in such a varied and immersive way, using this state-of-the-art technology to create an interactive and immersive experience,”

Tolene van der Merwe , South African Tourism UK Country Manager


The 5 Minute Holiday is made up of 6 scenes in South Africa, including abseiling down Table Mountain in Cape Town; kite-surfing; feeding the elephants in a sanctuary; strolling through Neighbourhoods Market in Johannesburg; and shark-cage diving, where the footage was shot underwater using a specially 3D printed underwater camera rig that had to be tested in the warmer climbs of the London Scuba School!

The Results

Following experiential activations in London and Manchester, the experience has been rolled out globally and has been at prominent travel events including World Travel Market in London and New York Times Travel Show.

Between 12th – 15th February 2016 the 5 Minute Holiday was published as 5 shorted 360 videos for South African Tourism’s Facebook page. These videos have since received over a million views with thousands of enthusiastic comments and is a great example of how using cross-platforms can give you a bigger ROI and take your audience from hundreds to millions.

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