Virtual Tours for the Tourism Industry - Part 1

How Virtual Reality is Transforming the Travel Industry

Virtual Tours for the Tourism Industry - Part 1

Doesn't the pleasure of travel involve changing your environment and leaving to meet other cultures and landscapes? If this is the case, why would tourism professionals spend time and budgets to produce virtual tours?

In a series of articles, we shall explore the different aspects of virtual tours and observe that using these solutions can truly highlight a destination, hotel or museum. In this first article, we question the reasons which now make it compulsory for any serious professional in the tourism sector to adopt 360 virtual tours.


Travel requires preparation

When a person decides to set out on a journey, they rarely do so without any preparation. Most people prepare their travel, particularly when these involve travelling to remote destinations or multiple stops. Beyond the travel logistics (which mean of transportation, which hotel, ...), it's the destination that must get the traveller excited. Tourists don't purchase a product, but a dream, an escape. 360 virtual tours therefore help people discover a city, a venue or various leisure activities long before they depart.

These visits will allow travellers to check many travel details from the comfort of their home, without wasting too much time.

With the rising standards of living in the emerging countries and the rise of low-cost tourism, the travel sector has witnessed a true revolution in recent years. This change has involved stronger competition amongst the various actors and a professionalisation of their communication activities. All professionals in the sector, transport managers, heads of tourism, hotel managers or museum managers, therefore need to make their offers more attractive and to circulate them more widely.

Internet changed the world

In this context, the growth of Internet platforms such as TripAdvisor, Hotel.com and many others, represents both a chance and a challenge for professionals of the tourism sector. The high visibility of these platforms makes them essential to promote any offer, yet the commissions they charge represent significant amounts, thereby resulting in reduced revenue for the different operators. It has therefore become increasingly difficult for tourism professionals to only promote their offer through their company's website.

A virtual tour platform, which helps showcase tourism products in a highly visible, interactive and comprehensive manner, with a wide web distribution, provides a true added value in this area.

Another phenomenon related to the expansion of online solutions, is resulting in a true crisis amongst many actors of the tourism sector; this involves people organising their own travel, without calling upon travel agencies or tour operators. The recent bankruptcy of Thomas Cook is only the latest victim of the power Internet has conferred to consumers in this sector.

Tourism professionals using virtual tours can follow this new trend, by helping people wanting to manage their own travel prepare their holidays. Furthermore, virtual tours allow visitors to discover an environment in an immersive manner without having to wear a virtual reality headset. People can therefore discover their next holiday destination from the comfort of their home, without having to use any special equipment.

Enhances your activity

Beyond the need to respond in a proactive way to the different changes in their sector, tourism professionals will benefit in many ways when using 360 virtual tours.

First of all, adopting this promotional tool improves the way clients perceive their brand, giving it a dynamic image, one of a company having adopted a modern and efficient solution to inform its clients. Furthermore, the interactive and playful aspect of virtual tours result in visitors spending more time on the tourism websites and providing more interaction.

360-degree virtual tours therefore provide true added value for tourism professionals. This is now possible with the rapid evolution of 360 technologies, making it increasingly easier to produce the required images and by a growing ecosystem of specialised photographers, capable of providing high-quality 360 shots at a reasonable price.

Virtual travel will never replace the true experience, it does however provide a foretaste of one's upcoming destination and thereby generates positive emotions, even before the person takes the first step.

In our next article in this series, we will identity the main benefits of virtual tours for the tourism sector. Stay tuned!

Posted 3 years ago

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