Virtual Tour is a sequence of high-resolution panoramic rotating images stitched together to give a full view of a location. The user has full control and can experience multiple locations with just a click of a button. Virtual tours can be used to capture tourism destinations in a unique and breathtaking way. The travel industry has started using this as a marketing tool to enhance customer experience and to stimulate actual tourism. A virtual tour is one of the best marketing tools that can help bring new customers in. With much of the world into lockdowns and travel restrictions, virtual travel has grown and developed in the recent past. As per experts, virtual tours has great potential to increase revenue in this sector and is here to stay even as borders and destinations reopen.
Why Is Virtual Tourism An Important Marketing Tool In The Travel Industry?
With the growing competition and high expectations from customers, travel industries need to improve their marketing strategies to attract a wider audience to remain in the race to the top. Virtual tourism is one such marketing tool that enables brand owners to present their services to potential customer’s right before their eyes. Virtual marketing provides great advantages to businesses as it allows their users to have an immersive experience by connecting directly with a service. This immersive experience can be anything from diving into the deepest seas to climbing the world’s highest mountains or flying in a helicopter to exploring the unexplored. Many travel promoters have already adopted Virtual technologies to provide a preview experience of hotel properties, cruise ships and travel destinations. The results of the experimental study demonstrated that this method of advertisement had a greater effect on visitors with most people wanting to come back and experience the destination for real after watching these virtual travel videos.
Virtual Tourism During The Pandemic
COVID-19 brought the worldwide tourism industry to a standstill. Everyone’s plan for domestic and international trips in 2020 was brought to an abrupt halt due to the pandemic. With the future not looking too upbeat for the industry at this juncture, tourism business owners globally have adopted virtual tourism to survive the crisis. Many tourism industries adopted innovative approaches such as virtual tours as a marketing strategy to keep their attractions firmly in the minds of potential visitors. Tourists can now stay at home while listening to travel agents’ voices explaining localities and looking at places virtually through gadgets. People are touring the world from the comfort of their living room couch or maybe their beds, through their laptop or smartphone. Virtual tourism has gained attention as a marketing tool for travel companies during the Pandemic as it can rebuild travel for a post-pandemic world. Platforms like Google Earth VR offer virtual escapes 365 days a year and headsets like the Oculus Rift now provide 360-degree views of the world’s most famous sites. Virtual tours are here to stay post-pandemic too.
Effects of Virtual Tourism As Marketing Tool For Destinations
Videos are powerful marketing tools, especially for the hospitality and travel industry. They have the ability to capture the attention of the audience much quicker than images or text. Let us take a look at how effective these marketing tools are.
Marketing to Potential Customers in Advance
Virtual travel videos allow potential customers to explore different destinations before making a booking. Customized maps, directions, routes, keeping the visitor’s interest in mind is more convincing for the customer than a brochure of the destination. The transparency and authenticity of the travel company will boost confidence among potential clients through this marketing tool.
Upward Trend in Sales
Virtual tours are amazing sales tools that help you stand out in a crowded marketplace. With people being able to walk through the destination and find relevant information through the sales team via video chat, phone call, email, all within the tour itself makes for quicker decisions from the client’s side. Virtual tours are essentially a newer and exciting way to build trust with customers and have a positive impact on them. This marketing tool has substantial potential which encourages real-life tourism visits that helps to increase bookings.
Cater To Multiple Clients At The Same Time
Virtual reality is especially intriguing for the tourism sector as a channel to communicate intangible tourism experiences to a wider audience. Ever imagined showing presentations to over five thousand clients per day? But now with virtual tours, people can walk through thousands of locations anywhere in the world at any time. A much easier approach of talking to a client and sending them the link to your tour that’s designed to entice them to enquire or buy. Saves a lot of time, this is called the power of a custom branded virtual tour.
Enhances User Experience
Virtual tours give users the opportunity to experience everything even before booking one. They are more likely to influence purchase intentions and be considered overall more effective than any other marketing tool. Potential clients get the opportunity to explore its facilities and even make direct bookings. In fact, this unique sensory experience is like storytelling, since the user gets enhanced on-site experiences. This is why virtual tourism is increasingly becoming the ultimate marketing tool for the travel industry.
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This marketing tool for destinations is flourishing as some of the world’s biggest travel companies have already integrated virtual tours as their travel marketing strategy. These tours are easy to navigate with just a couple of clicks. Destination marketing via virtual tours is taking it to another level. It won’t be long until travel companies use virtual reality catalogues or brochures to help their customers plan and book trips from the comfort of their homes. If you have taken virtual tours to any of your favourite destinations, please share some of your experiences with us.