It’s not a big hotels gig. It is certainly not difficult to execute. And, it’s becoming more of a reality in travel than you imagined. Let’s take a 360 tour into the world of virtual reality and how to make it work for your property.
What Is Virtual Reality?
Travel and accommodation are all about creating amazing experiences. Virtual reality is a way to make guests live that experience before they even step into your property. Cutting through the white noise of videos and beautiful images for an experience that’s interactive and personal.
Technically, it is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound.
My Property Is Too Small. Do I Still Need It?
73% of entrepreneurs expect that VR will be used to assist in the decision-making process for travel-related decisions such as destination or hotel choices.
If you don’t want to miss the boat on capitalizing on this interest, get VR. It’s more affordable than you think and more accessible since its launch a few years ago.
What You Can Do with VR?
Create experiences that sell. How? Let’s see …
Use 360 Videos to Tell Your Story
From your property’s pools and restaurants to individual rooms, 360-degree video lets people who are interested in traveling practically “try before they buy.” It’s a far more immersive experience than traditional photos (and your guests are assured that the images are not photoshopped!)
Capture the rooms, communal areas, and even nearby experiences to give the guests a real taste of your property and its surroundings.
Your guests don’t necessarily need a VR headset to view at their end but to get the full 3D effect, they will need to don the headset.
Virtual hotel tours are becoming popular for sales staff selling their room at hospitality conferences. Are you ready with yours?
Capture, Entertain and Enchant
It doesn’t have to be all about marketing. You can use your newly acquired VR headset to enhance the guest experience.
The Marriott uses an in-destination VR service called VRoom Service which guests can use for 24 hours. The VR devices are loaded with “VR postcards”, which provide guests with travel inspiration, showcasing people’s first-hand travel experiences. This has the potential to encourage new holiday bookings and even experiences offered in-destination.
You could do something similar, maybe not for every room, but invite guests to see nearby experiences (which you’ve filmed previously) via your headset.
You could use your VR headset to provide in-room entertainment. Let guests borrow or even hire to enjoy VR-linked entertainment and gaming in their room.
Meetings, Incentives, and Events
Virtual reality is a fabulous way to give event planners a much better impression of space and gauge if it will be suitable for their needs. Photos and descriptions don’t always provide the most accurate impressions.
VR gives event planners the confidence to book by providing a more ‘real’ experience of the space you have.
It’s still in its infancy stage but already VR is opening new avenues and helping properties of all sizes deliver an experience that’s geared to drive bookings. Consider it an investment in your present (certainly the future) and take the plunge.