The rise of COVID-19 pandemic forces tourism to adapt and develop their business digitally. Thanks to this innovation and technology, those who are bound to stay at home, or couldn’t visit their favorite holiday destination yet can get access to explore their favorite places by just a few clicks away through ‘Virtual Tour’.
Although the term itself has been coined since 1994, Virtual Tour has just become an internet trend last year, when COVID-19 vaccines were still in development and the pandemic forced lots of people around the globe to ‘Stay at Home’. Nowadays, big airlines brands have created their own virtual tour program; either one that shows their ‘artificial flight’ where people can enjoy at home, or exploring a region through several first-person view handy tutorials i.e making indigenous food or learning local languages.
In Bali, there are several ticketing companies which have implemented Virtual Tour for those who wish to visit Bali without leaving the comfort of their home. Starting from IDR 100k, guests can enjoy different sides of Bali guided by a friendly, professional narrator who would explain the interesting bits about the region or culture interactively.
Several hotels, CVBs, and local governments use 360-degree VR video to capture everything about a destination in an immersive way. This lets viewers experience a remote mountaintop, an idyllic beach, a network of hiking trails, or a buzzing city with the press of a button. Finally, fully immersive VR experiences let users get in on the action, interacting with the environment and discovering more through their actions. This is often a curated experience focusing on one aspect of the location, like the food scene, music, history, or art.
Virtual Tour is especially useful during the pandemic, but it also has great benefit for the company to market their property or business in the future. he most obvious of these benefits is that viewers can see and experience a destination without traveling to it, which means they aren’t limited by available flights, travel logistics, safety concerns, and whether destinations are open. They don’t even have to think about time zones or weather conditions.
For hotels and destinations, the clear benefit is the ability to stay top-of-mind with potential customers and to highlight a location, amenities, and offerings. Viewers who have experienced a hotel or location through virtual tourism are more likely to book a future stay, and will eagerly anticipate experiencing the activity in the “real world.” There are also great marketing opportunities offered by virtual tourism technology. Potential guests can see a 360-degree view of a property and its amenities, rather than the flat images on a brochure or website.
Currently, Bali local government has just stated that the tourism destinations in the island could be reopened with for 50% of its maximum capacity, but the international flight embargo has not been officially lifted. Virtual tours will remain a great alternative for tourists in the future, and it’s exciting to see this wonderful program widely implemented by the island’s tourism and hospitality business to cater more audiences to visit Bali by just using their wi-fi connection.