Virtual reality has become less of a trope from sci-fi films and more of an actual, well, reality. The rise of virtual reality (VR) experiences and its equipment have had a steady rise in both commercial and personal use. Travel companies have now started to tap into the new technological development as a way to give their customers and staff an opportunity to really experience a destination.
In 2014, outside of Wedding Park in New York city, newlyweds were given the chance to step into a virtual reality stimulator, courtesy of Marriott Hotels. The idea behind the campaign was to provide an interactive sneak peek into their hotels around the world, and give a glimpse of what a holiday spent in their hotel would look and feel like.
The new marketing tool has helped companies like Marriott Hotel separate themselves from competitors. In fact, bookings at their hotels increased 51% throughout the campaign.
However, there are other ways this new technology can help the travel industry. Several travel operatives are also using virtual reality as a useful tool for their employees. Virgin Atlantic successfully introduced an augmented reality, via an app, into its training process for cabin crew to help the team familiarise themselves with the new Boeing 787.
Here at Kenwood Travel, our travel experts got a virtual reality glimpse of one of our leading Caribbean resorts. A representative from Sandy Lanes, Barbados popped by our office with a pair of virtual reality glasses for our team to try out.
Naina Karsan, our Senior Marketing executive said of the visit: “It was a great experience for our sales team. Their job is to help our customers choose the right hotel, so using [the VR device] helped to get a feel of the resort.”
While this was a first for us, the idea of using VR for our travel experts could very well help them advise our customers on choosing the right resort.
“Our Travel Experts are able to visit many of our cities and resorts to help them get a feel for the destination they are offering, so bringing in [virtual reality] could also add to their list of experiences.” added Naina
While travelling to a destination, without even leaving your home, could transform the travel industry, it’s important to point out that an ideal holiday is more than just a 360 degree experience as our marketing executive points out: “Obviously you can’t smell or touch [when using the VR device] To really get a proper holiday experience, you have to actually be there yourself to really enjoy it.”