Virtual travel, once in the realm of science fiction, is now becoming a reality. Expanded bandwidth combined with new geocoded media technologies are resulting in the real life version of your kids gaming experience and creating a new genre of content marketing for hotels and venues.
An excellent example is XplorIt, a company seeking to replicate virtually the first-person travel experience. Onsite visitors can see a fly over a city such as Chicago Northwest to gain a sense of geospatial location. These new tools provide a richer, more fulfilling experience that helps bring destinations to life, creating a multimedia environment that provides content while replicating the feeling of first person virtual travel.
Large convention and meeting hotels seek to differentiate themselves through the quantity and quality of their meeting space, amenities and proximity to local attractions. Aside from the traditional site visit, the only way hoteliers had to convey there property's offering to a meeting planner was with text, still photography, maps or a video. Now, planners can "fly" to various destinations such as the Renaissance Hotel Schaumburg and Meet Chicago Northwest to see the Improv Comedy Club, Arlington Park Raceway and other attractions throughout the region. They can check out the lay of the land from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport or Downtown Chicago. These visitors can explore the destination and get a unique aerial perspective of the hotel. Additional options include a map or street view and the ability to book a room or dinner reservation, submit an RFP for a meeting, buy tickets to a show or the racetrack or wine from a local vintner.
Advertising Age recognized XplorIt with the Media Vanguard Award, calling it “groundbreaking… so immersive that it feels like a gaming experience.” The game-like platform allows a visitor to explore meeting space at the Los Angeles Convention Center or to walk through the Anaheim Hilton or an attraction like the Kennedy Space Center or Yosemite National Park. Throughout the interactive experience, the user can go where they want and see what they want to see. The platform uses cutting-edge technology and delivers it in a responsive design that is mobile friendly. It includes a Facebook Studio application to access at home, or on the phone while at a destination. Additional functionality includes closed captioning for the hearing impaired or language translation, mapping, social networking, ecommerce, PDF’s, live camera feeds, geospatial positioning is all delivered within one elegant content delivery system.
As these improvements in virtual travel and site inspections tools continue to advance, web visitors will see increasingly realistic, informative and immersive ways of exploring hotels and venues.