I could spend hours re-enforcing the benefits of virtual reality with regurgitated facts from online souces but most of this can be simply found by typing in ‘benefits of a virtual tour’ in to the Google search bar.
Here is one of the most compelling reads, a case study in all Radisson hotels commissioned with a virtual tour in the US and Caribbean. Noteworthy is this is an independent study commissioned annually by the Carlson Group. For the headline figures, you can refer to the right hand box:
Aside from the financial benefits, which surface time and time again when you dig a little deeper in to the vast amount of case studies and get to grips with some of these numbers (ROI), you also arrive at your own rational assumptions.
We know that strong visual media (videos, photography and elegant websites) are the main consumer motivations when customers book rooms, buy properties, choose destinations. It only makes sense then, that an immersive tour of a hotel’s rooms and facilities would offer the most ‘true’ experience of how a potential customer would exist in that environment.
You could say that gecko digital is biased in its approach because we sell this technology but, it’s not just us. The biggest tech giants in the world are investing billions in to virtual tour and virtual reality technology and recommending companies like yours to come on board:
YouTube- On March this year, the worlds biggest visual media platform, owned by the worlds biggest company, opened the worlds first virtual reality channel, where companies can upload their own 360 videos.
Google- the worlds biggest company started mapping the world in a directory called ‘street tour’ This is the world in virtual tour- you have probably seen the Google cars driving around. Since then, they have launched ‘business view’ and recommended hotels and businesses to get a virtual tour so you can upload it to their street view directory.
Facebook- the worlds biggest social media platform with a quarter of the world now using it. Earlier this year Facebook introduced a virtual tour plug in, so we can now upload our virtual tours using a share button which enables our content to get shared and distributed through vast social networks at the click of a button. Facebook also bought ‘Oculus Rift’, a virtual reality hardware manufacturer for a record 1.5 billion usd earlier last year.
The bottom line is, people book through imagery, that is how we are sold the pervervial ‘dream’ and that is how we will always experience a projected environment before we go ahead and make the booking.
Virtual reality is really just the next logical step on from virtual tours. If a virtual tour allows you to see a property in 3 dimensions, then virtual reality will put you inside that property. I have worked for years in marketing and see how new technologies affect and shape markets. If a business adopts a new technology, even if that technology has nothing to do with the service offered or rendered, then that business is seen as ‘forward thinking’ or ahead of its time. In marketing its a very powerful message you are sending out when you are seen to be an early adopter.
Now, imagine if that new technology had a lot to do with your services offered. Imagine if it put you inside the hotel for a true life like experience. You not only create the wow factor but you also allow your audience to experience something they have never seen before whilst putting them in your property at the same time.
It’s no coincidence, that since the commercialisation of this technology earlier this year, Marriot have scores of people eagerly lining up at trade shows to experience a Marriott hotel via one of their virtual reality boothes; not because they want to view a mini bar or walk past the concierge but simply because, they want to engage with a new technology and by doing so will take that memory of what it meant to walk through a Marriott home with them.
This is a technology in its infancy and one that we are helping propagate through intelligent, streamlined and sophisticated marketing campaigns throughout Asia. We carefully monitor and back up our tools with analytics and data we capture for all of our online virtual tours.