Using VR To Attract Tourists

Virtual reality (VR) is popping up in all kinds of walks of life and the number of applications for the technology seems to be growing by the day as more and more people tap into the potential benefits.

Over in the US at the Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, two VR experts have been sharing their experience of using VR in marketing campaigns for tourist destinations, and have shared some examples of their success.

The Sentinel Record reported on the event, noting that VR could be a particularly useful tool for a place like Arkansas that isn’t at the top of the list of places tourists want to travel.

Derek Huber, director of marketing and strategy at the Freelance Society, told attendees that there are opportunities that can be utilised with the technology.

“As far as the whole middle US and south, there’s not many VR experiences out there for tourism. That’s the great thing about jumping on this now is that right now most people have never done this before. They’ve never experienced VR,” he stated.

That means that any tourism 360 VR that’s produced and marketed now will have a greater impact than it will in a few years’ time when the technology has become more widespread.

Dylan Roberts, CEO and co-founder of the Freelance Society, cited the success that they had with a VR tourism campaign in Hot Springs, adding that he hopes the state gets involved and that it’s important for state leaders to pay attention to these developments in technology and the benefits they can bring.

Qualcomm recently announced that it’s working on the development of AR and VR headsets that can be powered with 5G mobile phones.

The company unveiled its plans at the Mobile World Congress, explaining that its latest headsets will have their own displays and will be connected to a phone using a USB-C cable to enable it to run apps. This will combine the benefits of tethered and mobile headsets, The Verge revealed.

Although this in itself isn’t an entirely new concept, with LG having debuted something similar in terms of the connection in 2016, the news site noted that what makes the difference to the Qualcomm technology is the 5G capabilities.

This will allow users to stream higher quality content, thereby making the VR and AR experiences that bit more impressive and immersive.

From a tourism perspective, there are many ways in which this technology could be utilised. While VR might be a great way to introduce new people to destinations and get them excited about visiting, AR could be useful once they arrive.

With an AR headset and specially designed apps, travellers could carry a tour guide around with them who can not only give them audio detail about what they’re seeing, but also overlay useful information on the real world.

In scenarios where people are visiting historical ruins, for instance, the applications for AR are obvious. The technology can be used to allow people to see how they would have looked in their heyday, for instance, or to put artefacts in context.

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