Virtual reality tours are here to boost your sales team’s results. Plus, VR tours generate an extraordinary client experience starting from the booking stage.
Want to learn all the ways the 360º Virtual Tours can improve your hotel’s online presence and how to create a successful one? Keep reading and find out!
What are Virtual Reality Tours
Virtual reality tours are simulated, immersive experiences that create a virtual environment for users to explore and interact with. Using 3D computer graphics, they create a realistic and interactive simulation of an environment.
While they can serve different purposes, their importance and presence as part of the hospitality industry is remarkable.
This responds partly to a sector that was heavily hit by the pandemic (the World Tourism Organization found that international tourist arrivals declined by 73% in 2020 compared to 2019). Also, by changing consumer expectations in terms of what a hotel can offer, including the experience during the booking process.
All this results in a landscape of increased competition among hotel operators, who are seizing every opportunity to increase their visibility and, as a result, their revenue. As such, incorporating virtual reality tours has become a key strategy to stand out in a crowded market.
Benefits of VR content for Hotels
Here are some main benefits of Virtual Reality content applied to Hotels and Resorts:
- More engagement: virtual reality tours provide potential guests with an immersive and engaging experience during the booking process which, in turn can ultimately lead to more confident bookings.
- Better experience for users: 360 Virtual Tours allows potential guests to fully immerse themselves in a space, going beyond what traditional photos and videos can do. As such, VR content can provide a better understanding of a hotel’s layout, room sizes, and amenities, which in turn can increase their confidence in their booking choice.
- Differentiation: in an overcrowded online market, where hotels find themselves competing for attention, virtual reality tours can help hotels stand out.
- Upselling opportunities: because immersive content can showcase a hotel’s facilities in a more detailed and engaging way, it’s also a good entry point for guests booking additional services (from spa treatments to dining reservations or event spaces).
Why Virtual Reality Tours are the Future of Hotel Bookings
While traditional photography and 2D floor plans are useful sometimes, they offer a limited perspective (in two dimensions) and lack interactivity (they are static). This, in turn, often translates into a static user experience during booking and considerations, leaving potential clients cold.
These two limitations are completely challenged by virtual reality tours, which represent a dynamic experience that cannot be rivaled by 2D options. They evoke a sense of presence that generates a more realistic and engaging experience and one that is more easily memorable. This is also the right choice for satisfying clients looking for extra details before making any booking decisions and those who prefer a personalized experience.
All in all, this results in an irrefutable boost for hotels’ bookings. For instance, a study carried out by Omni Hotels and TIG Global showed that virtual tours can increase conversion rates from 16% to 67%.
How to Create effective Virtual Reality Tours for Your Hotel
Hotels looking to create their virtual reality tours will first need access to the following equipment:
- A 360-degree camera
- The Virtual tour software allows users to upload 360º images and footage captured by the camera and create a virtual tour that can be viewed online
- Editing software to enhance the images and footage
However, creating good 360 Virtual Tours goes beyond these technical capabilities. For instance, at FirstView we not only use the most advanced technology (including aerial drone) during our recording sessions at your facilities. We also use our experience to ensure the virtual reality tour will align with what current consumers are looking for today; as well as guarantee images have the right quality.
As such, we ensure there are no unwanted reflections or other common mistakes that typically arise during unprofessional shootings.
This is crucial at a time when high-quality visuals and user experiences are more important than ever. Only through taking the utmost care in creating the best possible VR content can it become a realistic and engaging experience for potential guests.
Finally, we can provide tips on how to highlight a hotel’s best amenities and selling points. From hotel suites to panoramic views, as well as through dedicated work for using lighting to our clients’ advantage. We ensure each location is showcased in the most favorable manner.
How to Promote Your Virtual Reality Tours and Drive Bookings
Hotels must also know how to promote their VR content. As a result, it reaches not only the maximum number of people but also the right audience.
The first stop is the hotel’s website, but it can be incorporated into many other platforms. From booking engines and social media to other marketing and sales materials, such as email marketing efforts and digital brochures, among others.
In order to understand if these efforts have been successful, the immersive content campaign should be measured. Tools such as First View allow hotel managers to access performance reports and then execute cross-data actions with conversion figures.
In our work in collaboration with Roiback, we’ve seen an increase between 8% and 20% in conversion rate boost. These were generated in bookings for those users exposed to our 360 Virtual Tour, compared to those that were only exposed to conventional, 2D content.
All in all, virtual reality tours confirm their key role in generating a sophisticated, immersive user experience during the crucial booking moment.
Are you considering investing in VR content but don’t know how to get started? Here’s your first step: request a demo of FirstView and experience firsthand how we can help you showcase your hotel’s highlights.