Virtual Tourism in 2022 – A New Way to Experience Destinations

A virtual tour is a simulation of a location consisting of still images, usually representing the location digitally. A virtual tour software allows your clients and customers to see your business from anywhere using any internet-connected device. Virtual tours have existed for a long time, and small business owners should realize how important it is to have one as part of their business plan. COVID-19 has forced hotels, destinations, and travelers alike to curtail travel as a result of its spread. There has been a considerable decline in tourism, local vacations are often unaffordable, and business travel has decreased as well. Marketing creatively and creating virtual offerings can, however, make a major difference in the coming years. As the world returns to normal and travelers once again pack their bags, hotels and destinations that know how to capitalize on the virtual tourism and travel trend will thrive.

Virtual Tourism

Virtual Tourism


View From Any Device

The use of technology in virtual tourism allows for viewers to experience a location, activity, or destination from afar. Various types of virtual tour software are available, but they often involve a combination of VR, still images, video, audio, narration, interactivity, and other multimedia to provide a more authentic understanding of a destination than images or websites can provide alone. VR headsets can be used by viewers to experience virtual tourism content in the most immersive way, but the content can also usually be viewed on a regular computer or even on a cell phone.

Limitless Possibilities

Having the ability to view activities, places, and destinations online from their own homes has many clear advantages. It provides viewers with the opportunity to see and experience a destination without having to travel there, which means they aren’t restricted by flight availability, travel logistics, safety concerns, or whether or not the destination is open. There is no need to take into consideration time zones or the weather. In addition, viewers can save a lot of money. Destinations can be accessed via virtual tour software by millions of people who might not otherwise be able to afford to travel there. With the rising popularity of virtual tourism destinations and the ability to experience things they never thought possible thanks to virtual reality technology, viewers are open to seeing and experiencing things they have never imagined.

Revolutionizing Tourism

Virtual Tourism

Virtual Tourism

 

Keeping top-of-mind with potential customers and highlighting amenities, locations, and offerings are clear benefits for hotels and destinations. Virtual tourism can lead to future bookings and anticipation of the activity in the “real world.” Viewers are more likely to book a future stay after experiencing a hotel through virtual tourism. Technology offered by virtual tourism can also be used for marketing purposes. Rather than flat images on a brochure or website, potential guests can take a tour of the property and experience its amenities in 360 degrees. It increases the likelihood that viewers will return to a property in the future and makes it easier for them to share the property with others.

It doesn’t end there. Among the other benefits of virtual tourism are:

  • 360-degree views of a location are possible, giving viewers full control over what they see.
  • Viewers are able to imagine themselves at a travel destination as part of the immersive experience.
  • Travel agencies, hotels, and Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) can make an impact with it.
  • High resolution images can be used to showcase any aspect of a destination.

Long Term Effects of Virtual Tourism

Virtual Tourism

Virtual Tourism

Taking advantage of virtual tourism and this technology is one way hotels and destinations can benefit. Since the advent of virtual tourism, CVBs have been highlighting the unique aspects of a location, from history and culture to fun activities, local attractions, and trivia. Hotel groups, CVBs, and local governments use 360-degree VR videos to show off their destinations. The technology lets viewers explore a remote mountaintop, a beautiful beach, a network of hiking trails, or a rousing city with just a few clicks.

As opposed to traditional photography, which captures still images and stitches them together using specialized software, VR photography provides an immersive image that users can look at from any angle. Showing interiors of hotels, artwork, museum exhibits, and anything else that can be seen without moving or sounding is ideal for using this technology. Last but not least, immersive VR experiences let users become part of the action, interacting with the surroundings and discovering new things as they go. An experience like this typically focuses on an aspect of the location, like its food scene, music scene, history, or art scene. There are many ways for a location to showcase what it has to offer through virtual reality, including yoga classes, stargazing, and bird watching.

How Virtual Tourism Works?

Some of the best virtual tourism campaigns we’ve seen from around the world are below.Some of the best virtual tourism campaigns we’ve seen from around the world are below. Although each campaign offers something different, their common theme is that they are all designed to make visiting locations easy, safe, and interactive.

The Great Barrier Reef

There is virtual tourism available at the Great Barrier Reef as well. During the interactive journey, David Attenborough, a legendary broadcaster and historian, takes viewers through the world’s largest coral reef system. Virtual tourism is more than just a replacement for Great Barrier Reef tours – it is an exciting experience, showing just how versatile it can be.

The Faroe Islands

Virtual Tourism

Virtual Tourism

COVID-19 gave people an alternative way to travel to the Faroe Islands once the Faroe Islands started to offer virtual tourism. The virtual tourism segment on the Faroe Islands’ website states that “early on in this global crisis, we sat and wondered how we could recreate a Faroe Islands’ experience for anyone who had to postpone or cancel their trip to the Faroe Islands. Imagine if we could let people from anywhere in the world travel around the islands as virtual tourists through the eyes of locals?”

Dubai 360

Visit the stunning architecture of Dubai with Dubai 360 – a virtual tourism experience that allows users to explore the city from a bird’s eye view and explore all the locations scattered around it. Dubai360 states, “Our services help increase online presence, which is essential to marketing anything today. We aim to elevate you above your competition by enhancing your first impressions, and can be used for hotels, restaurants, malls, real estate, or anything visually represented.”

Bristol From Home

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted Visit Bristol (England) to create an immersive experience similar to the Faroe Islands. During social distancing measures, visitors can still enjoy Bristol, from the comfort of their own homes. Bristol From Home provides inspiration, ideas, and useful resources for travelers. There are several virtual options available on the website, such as tours of a Victorian ship, balloon rides, gin tastings, and more, all at one time.

Impact on Hospitality Sector

Among the many reasons the travel industry has bounced back after a traumatic time has been virtual tourism. When travelers are able to travel again, showcasing everything the destination has to offer is a great way to keep the property in mind and build excitement for normal travel. A major benefit of virtual tourism is that hotels and destinations can showcase the intangibles of their locations, capturing the special atmosphere and attracting travelers who might not otherwise consider the destination.

Capitalizing on Virtual Tours

A hotel’s marketing plan should go back to the basics when strategizing how to use virtual tourism. Who is your target audience? How does your hotel’s location, amenities, or other features set it apart from others? What are the key features you want to emphasize about your hotel or destination? By answering these questions, you can build the foundation for virtual tourism for your business.

The best place to start your virtual tourism experience is with a few experiences you know guests will return for again and again. Show off your vineyard, sandy beach, art deco decor, or breathtaking view while you show viewers around your property. You can offer many different virtual reality experiences to suit all types of guests staying at your property since you can create multiple virtual reality experiences. Young adults may prefer street art tours, while older travelers may prefer an immersive performance by a symphony orchestra. You can create three or four experiences aimed at guests you are hoping to see at your hotel in the near future, then follow up with custom packages, content marketing, and emails directly targeting guests who you would like to see at your hotel in the future.

Keep in mind that this medium doesn’t have to be viewed through the conventional lens through which your guests usually view your destination. Visitors could fly over your property with a hot air balloon, swim in your lake without getting wet, ski down to your lobby to sit by a roaring fire, or zip-line through the trees using virtual tourism. You can go beyond the idea of replacing “real” travel by offering guests experiences they cannot get in person. The boom in virtual tourism can also be used by hotels to attract event attendees and planners. Hotel offerings need not be confined to guests. Is your ballroom equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system? Are your beachside bungalows equipped with ample meeting space? Create an innovative virtual experience using 3D technology that highlights your unique selling point and creates demand once the meeting and event season is back in full swing. As a result, virtual tourism opportunities are truly limitless. Almost any experience you can imagine in the real world can be replicated in virtual reality in some way.

Social Media and Virtual Tourism

Virtual Tourism

Virtual Tourism

As a result of social media and online review sites, people are becoming increasingly visually oriented. In this way, the importance of having visual content of your business that reflects it at its best has increased. Users are most likely to stay on a website less than 59 seconds, according to a recent study. Therefore, if you fail to grab the attention of users within a minute, you have lost them. Engaging content, such as virtual tours, encourages website visitors to stay longer on your site. Not only will virtual tours visually engage your potential customers or clients, but they will be able to learn about what you do, and what you have to offer as a company.Not only will virtual tours visually engage your potential customers or clients, but they will be able to learn about what you do, and what you have to offer as a company.

Businesses can benefit from virtual tours in the following ways:

  • A virtual tour can increase visitor retention because it keeps visitors on your site for an average of five to ten times longer. A virtual tour gives clients and customers an idea of how and where your business operates. A visual representation of the business naturally appeals to clients.
  • With Google Business View, you can enhance your search presence with virtual tours
  • Drive traffic and engagement. A group of market analysts have found that 97% of consumers research products and services online before they make a purchase. The evidence suggests that if more people know who you are, their likelihood of buying or working with you will increase, regardless of the business you are in.
  • Your business will stand out from the competition with a 360 degree virtual tour that showcases your business. Virtual tours attract 40% more clicks than listings without them, according to a recent internet survey.
  • Increase sales by generating faster. Compared with two-dimensional images, 360 degree photos improve conversion rates by about 27% on product pages.
  • Encourage more people to apply for jobs. Nowadays, potential employees research companies before applying. You can give potential employees a glimpse of the workspace by having a virtual tour.
  • According to some online retail stores, products that have the special spin feature have conversion rates as high as 10%, and sometimes as high as 30% to 40%, compared to products that do not have it. Almost every business can benefit from 360-degree tours.