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Virtual Reality Tours For 360 VR Tourism Marketing

Drive Bookings With Engaging Virtual Reality Tours: Your Guide to 360 VR Tourism Marketing

By Gecko Digital Tech Blog

Virtual reality (VR) is swiftly transforming the way we experience the world around us. By transporting users into immersive computer-generated environments, this cutting-edge technology offers a level of engagement and realism that traditional media cannot match. 

The tourism industry, in particular, stands to greatly benefit from the adoption of VR. It presents an opportunity to showcase destinations in a manner that captivates potential travellers like never before. 

This article seeks to discuss how operators can harness the power of this innovative technology to revolutionise their marketing strategies, drive bookings, and foster a deeper connection with their target audience.

The evolution of VR in tourism marketing

The journey of marketing in the tourism industry has been one that has been dynamic, marked by a constant pursuit of innovation and adaptation to shifting consumer preferences. 

In the early days, traditional methods such as print advertisements, brochures, and travel guides reigned supreme. However, as technology advanced, the industry embraced digital platforms, social media tools, and online booking engines to reach a wider audience.

Later on, the advent of VR ushered in a new era of tourism marketing, offering an unprecedented level of immersion and engagement that was once unimaginable. 

This emerging immersive and interactive approach to tourism marketing promised to revolutionise the way destinations promoted themselves. In essence, a medium that transcends borders and virtually transports anyone to breathtaking landscapes, cultural landmarks, and adrenaline-pumping adventures. 

One of the initial impacts of VR on tourism marketing was its ability to aid the decision-making process for travellers. By immersing potential visitors in virtual environments, VR promised to give travellers a medium to visualise destinations firsthand. Thereby, helping them make more informed and confident travel decisions. 

This experiential marketing approach disrupts traditional advertising methods by creating emotional connections and sparking one’s imagination, ultimately influencing travellers’ perceptions and preferences. 

How big is the VR tourism market?

According to a recent market research report by Market Data Forecast, the global virtual tourism market was valued at $7.94 billion in 2023. Furthermore, it is predicted to reach a staggering USD 38.68 billion by 2029— exhibiting a remarkable CAGR of 30.2% during the forecast period of 2024 to 2029. 

This potential growth may be attributed to several factors. These include the proliferation of VR technology across various industries, advancements in hardware and software solutions, and the ever-growing demand for immersive experiences among consumers.

What are virtual reality tours?

Virtual reality tours, often referred to as 360 VR tours, are immersive digital experiences that transport users to a specific location or destination. These tours allow viewers to explore the environment in a seamless, 360-degree format by stitching together a number of high-resolution panoramic images or videos.

Using VR headsets or compatible devices, users can navigate these virtual tours, looking up, down, and all around, as if they were physically present at the location. This level of immersion creates a sense of presence that traditional marketing materials struggle to achieve, captivating potential travellers and igniting their ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO).

What is VR tourism?

VR tourism, also known as virtual tourism or remote tourism, is the concept of experiencing a destination or attraction through the lens of virtual reality. This innovative approach allows individuals to virtually visit and explore places from any convenient location with an internet connection. 

This allows tourism companies to offer their customers an immersive and engaging preview of their offerings, enabling them to make more informed decisions about their travel plans. 

Whether it’s a breathtaking natural wonder, a historic landmark, or a luxurious resort— VR tourism provides a unique opportunity to experience these destinations in a way that transcends traditional marketing methods.

Virtual reality tourism examples

The applications of VR in tourism are diverse and far-reaching. Here are a few examples that illustrate the versatility of this technology:

  • Virtual hotel tours: Hospitality companies can create virtual tours of their properties, allowing potential guests to explore guest rooms, amenities, and common areas before making a reservation.
  • Destination previews: Tourism boards and travel agencies can offer virtual tours of popular destinations, showcasing iconic landmarks, cultural attractions, and natural wonders, enticing travellers to visit in person.
  • Adventure simulations: Adventure tour operators can provide virtual simulations of their offerings, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, or whitewater rafting—allowing thrill-seekers to experience the excitement before committing to the real-life activity.
  • Museum and gallery exhibitions: Cultural institutions can leverage VR to offer virtual tours of their exhibitions, enabling art enthusiasts from around the world to appreciate and explore their collections.
  • Virtual safaris: Nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries can transport viewers into the heart of their environments, providing a unique opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the beauty of various ecosystems and their inhabitants.

Benefits of virtual reality in tourism

Did you know that research states that virtual tours increase booking reservations for hotels and restaurants by as much as 16% to 67%? Or, the fact that hotel pages with a virtual tour gets more views than without?  

Read more such virtual tour stats here!

The integration of VR into tourism marketing strategies offers multiple advantages, both for businesses and consumers alike. Let’s explore some of the key benefits:

Immersive experience

One of the most compelling aspects of VR tourism is its ability to provide users with a truly immersive experience. By allowing them to explore destinations in 360 degrees, VR transports users to another world. Thus, igniting their wanderlust and inspiring them to book their next adventure.

Enhanced engagement

Unlike traditional photos or videos, VR tours are highly interactive, allowing users to engage with their surroundings actively. This level of engagement fosters a deeper connection with the destination, as users can actively participate in the desired experience rather than passively consuming information.

Broader reach

Traditional tourism marketing efforts often face geographical limitations, making it challenging to reach potential travellers beyond a certain radius. However, with VR tours, these boundaries are essentially nonexistent as the virtual experience can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. 

This global reach not only augments the potential customer base for tourism businesses but also opens up new opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and the promotion of lesser-known destinations to a wider audience.

Innovative marketing tool

VR tours offer a unique and innovative way to market destinations, setting businesses apart from those relying on traditional methods. Tourism companies can position themselves as forward-thinking and innovative, appealing to tech-savvy travellers and those seeking unique and memorable experiences.

Improved booking confidence

One of the most significant challenges in the tourism industry is managing expectations and ensuring that travellers have a clear understanding of what to find at their chosen destination. 

VR tours address this issue by providing potential travellers with a realistic and immersive preview of the location. It, therefore, reduces the risk of disappointment and increases their confidence in making a booking. 

In practice, offering a virtual “try before you buy” significantly reduces the likelihood of cancellations or negative reviews. This ultimately leads to increased bookings and a stronger reputation.

How to create VR tours for tourism marketing?

Creating engaging and effective 360 VR tours for tourism marketing is an intricate process. It requires careful planning, high-quality production equipment, and expertise in various areas, including content creation, 3D modelling, and software integration.

To ensure a seamless and impactful VR tour experience, it is often recommended to partner with a multimedia agency that specialises in VR tour production for various industries, including hospitality, retail, and tourism. 

These agencies have the necessary resources and expertise to handle every aspect of the VR tour creation process. This includes initial concept development to final deployment and integration with existing marketing channels, such as websites, social media platforms, and travel booking platforms.

Virtual reality tourism trends

The world of VR is constantly evolving, with new technological advancements and innovative applications emerging at a rapid pace. As we look towards the future, multiple forward-thinking trends are poised to shape the way VR is utilised in tourism marketing:

  1. Augmented Reality (AR) integration: The integration of AR with VR tours will enable users to experience a blend of virtual and real-world elements, delivering even more immersive and interactive experiences.
  2. Haptic feedback: The incorporation of haptic technology, which simulates tactile sensations, will further enhance the realism of VR tours. Thus, allowing users to experience textures, temperatures, and even physical interactions within the virtual environment.
  3. Social VR experiences: The ability to share VR experiences with others in real-time will enable group tours, virtual travel companions, and collaborative exploration. This will consequently foster a sense of community and social connection within the virtual realm.
  4. Personalised and adaptive experiences: Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning should pave the way for personalised and adaptive VR tours, tailored to individual preferences, interests, and behaviours—delivering truly customised experiences.
  5. Seamless integration with booking platforms: As VR technology becomes more mainstream, we should expect to see deeper integration with online travel agencies (OTAs) and booking platforms that allow users to transition from virtual exploration to actual bookings seamlessly.


Virtual reality has the power to revolutionise the way destinations are marketed and experienced. 

Needless to say, this is imperative to stay ahead of the curve, leveraging the expertise of industry leaders like Gecko Digital. With our cutting-edge solutions and creative approach, we can help you harness VR’s full potential, crafting immersive and engaging experiences that resonate with your target audience and drive tangible results for your business.

So, embrace the future of tourism marketing, and let the untapped power of virtual reality transport your audience to new heights of engagement and inspiration!