New research confirms the potential of Virtual Reality for destination marketing
Virtual reality (VR) is one of the most exciting innovations in tourism marketing, enabling consumers to live and experience a destination directly from their living rooms. Emerging VR technologies are providing new ways for consumers to engage with destinations, providing a level of immersion and engagement unmatched by other media.
VR is potentially a game changer for the travel sector, representing a more compelling and dynamic mode of storytelling. This research provides a better understanding of VR as a digital marketing tool to facilitate an improved user experience.
Tourism Australia partnered with TNS and Google Think Board to understand the potential of VR as a marketing and promotional tool for tourism businesses and destination marketing organisations. The research involved a panel of consumers watching a selection of Tourism Australia’s VR film clips using a Google Cardboard VR headset, then being asked questions about the experience and content they’d viewed, as well as questions about VR more generally. The study also involved surveying a sample of 500 consumers in each of Australia, the UK and the US to provide
a quantitative understanding of the impact of VR in selecting a holiday destination
- VR brings a destination to life and can make consumers consider travelling to places they otherwise would not have considered.
- Consumers are most interested in experiencing VR content relating to nature and wildlife and aquatic and coastal offerings.
- Motivation to travel to the destinations featured in the VR assets was high overall, with strong potential to inspire and motivate likelihood to visit. Ningaloo Reef was the most popular destination ‘to visit’with whale sharks resonating particularly well among consumers.
- Almost one-fifth of consumers have used VR to help select a holiday destination (19% USA, 14% UK, 19% AUS).
- Approximately 25 per cent of consumers plan to use VR in the future to assist with choosing a holiday destination (22% USA, 25% UK, 30% AUS).
- Those who have used VR to select a holiday destination highlighted benefits such as the ability to get a feel of the destination and to preview the experiences on offer, assisting with managing expectations