25 Moments that Mattered in 2015: To make our selection of 25 moments, we thought back to the stories that drove reader engagement and sparked discussion among both travel experts and the general public. Some stories were quick blips that represented bigger things while others were narratives that built slowly through out the year. Each one, though, spoke to where we are right now when it comes to the big business of global travel.
Virtual reality (VR) is no longer a wonder of the future as travel brands in multiple sectors demonstrated during 2015 that VR can do more than bring the wow factor to armchair travelers.
They’ve also shown that the technology’s business opportunities provide a more immediate return on investment as brands wait for VR headsets to become more widely available, and affordable, to most travelers.
In October, Shangri-La Hotels was the first international hospitality brand to roll out Samsung Gear VR headsets for each of its 17 global sales offices and 94 individual hotel sales teams. Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater was in the same school of thought when it bought its own VR equipment to produce all such videos in-house, with the goal of using them to promote the destination’s meetings and convention venues as well as its array of offerings for leisure travelers.
And VR isn’t limited to the ground — Qantas was one of the first carriers to dabble in VR when it introduced its Samsung Gear VR headsets in March. The headsets feature popular entertainment content and tours which “showcase the delights” of the airline’s network destinations.
The Full Story:
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Photo credit: Marriott's VR kit. Marriott / Marriott International