It has been three years since the team at Travel World VR launched the company in an attempt to bring VR to a larger audience of travel advisors. And while COVID-19 has slowed progress, the team is expecting a bounce-back as more and more travel advisors adopt the technology to help get consumers dreaming about travel again.
“The goal is to get people to start to think about travel again,” John C. Graham, the president of Travel World VR told TMR this week. “Those that embrace this new type of technology are going to be at the forefront of the travel rebound.”
The company launched as a way to give travelers and suppliers an in-depth look at what a destination or tour experience has to offer, with the goal of adding significant value to marketing, boosting social media visibility, and driving an increase in sales.
The company has a partnership with a London-based production company called infinitemr.com to help create the videos that will are all hosted on the Travel World VR app, available in the app stores on both Androids and iPhones. The app is loaded with VR experiences from suppliers such as Perillo Tours in Italy (the brand’s parent company); Jamaica Tourism; London Bike Tours; Tahiti; National Museum of the American Indian; One World Trade Center; and more.
All the videos are viewable through a simple, cardboard headset that comes free for advisors who reach out to the company.
A BBC news story that included Travel World VR in October, along with an earlier spot on Fox Business News in March, “gave us a shot of adrenaline,” Graham told TMR, but the group is now hoping that advisors can take advantage of the technology and use it to drive bookings in an environment that’s becoming more and more saturated with pent-up demand.
“It’s going to make people want to travel again. It’s not going to replace it, but I think it’s going to help bring memories out of people,” Graham said. “My mother, who passed away about a year and a half ago, was in assisted living and even they were engaging with VR headsets.
“It really uplifted their moods and everything else. It’s big in all these other industries and think now it’s time for it to become mainstream in travel,” he added.
Travel World VR has also seen an uptick in suppliers using VR to help train their guests, including Virgin Hotels, but Graham hopes it only increases from here.
“We’re at the right place at the right time because we’re pretty much the only ones doing it for travel,” he said.