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5 ways to use AR/VR in Tourism

Oct 2021

We don’t need to tell you that tourism has been one of the most impacted industries during the pandemic.

However, the sun appears to be rising, with borders reopening to make way for smiling tourists eager to escape the confines of their neighbourhoods. The tourism and hospitality industries need to use all the tools it can to rise up, one of these being: AR.

We turn to Augmented Reality as a way of enhancing our experience; it provides another layer of reality to ignite our senses and imagination and bring experiences to life. Therefore when you pair AR with travel, the opportunities for immersive experiences are limitless. In this article we provide 5 ways that the tourism industry can integrate AR to boost engagement and get things back up and running, and beyond! This includes hotels, airlines, attractions, review and booking sites, whether you’re a small or medium-large company.

1. Booking your holiday

There are so many exciting places to choose from around the world, where to start! What if your customers could experience a glimpse and be transported there virtually, would that help?

Travel World VR had travel agents in mind when they launched their VR app. Here, their clients can promote destinations and inspire customers to travel through 360-degree videos and cinematic VR productions of major destinations, cruise liners and resorts, so they can get a compelling glimpse of the place that will tempt them to make a booking.

2. Interactive advertising

We all know that waiting at an airport can feel tedious. Imagine if a billboard, magazine feature or brochure could come to life? Smartphone users could scan your logo to bring up a moving image of your choice. Delta Airlines created an AR game called Cloud Crew to keep children entertained whilst waiting for their flight at an airport. The game allows them to fly their own jet - a perfect gift for parents!

3. Your personal guide

Rather than fumbling around in your bag to find that ripped up, pen-stained and poorly folded map, imagine if your travel guide could be digital, easily accessible and personalised with one click. What if you could scan a QR code to follow an interactive map on your phone with places chosen based on what you would like to see. A tailor-made guide which connects you with your customers and offers an insight into what they want to experience.

Hub Hotels by Premier Inn designed their rooms with a map of the city of London. Using the Hubs Hotel app, guests can scan the map to find top places and attractions to visit during their stay.

4. Educate your guests

Once visitors have accessed the interactive map, they might want to visit local museums and galleries. Smartify is an AR app widely used by famous museums around the world including Tate Britain and Louvre. After observing the work of art before them, visitors can hold up their smartphone to access more information and discover the history around a certain piece of art.

5. Choosing the perfect dish

After exploring all day, it’s time for a well-need meal! Have you ever wanted to see what a dish will look like before ordering? Humans are sensory beings, and sometimes seeing someone else’s meal from the next table can cause us to change our order in a heartbeat! This is why AR works great for restaurants; imagine if guests could view each dish in a digital 3-D format.

U.S food brand Bareburger uses Snapchat’s AR technology to allow customers to view menu items such as burgers and sides before they order, either online or at the restaurant.

Tools like AR and VR are certainly worth the tourism industries investing in if they want to entice customers and provide an immersive, personalised experience.


Image credits:

Image 1: Tobias via Unsplash

Image 2: Lucrezia Carnelos via Unsplash

Image 5: Smartify

Image 4: Bareburger /Digital Trends

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