virtual reality, hotel booking, vr tours, vr booking

Are Pre-Booking VR Tours Right For Your Hotel?

virtual reality tours and hotel bookings

Virtual reality is no longer a teenager knocking about the living room, dreaming of becoming the next elite tennis player.  What many once considered a  game, has developed into a useful market strategy that can increase your hotel bookings.  By tapping into pre-booking VR tours, your clients get a taste of what they can expect as they walk through your virtual 360-degree tour at their own pace.  In fact, a study by Omni Hotels and TIG Global found that virtual tours on your website can increase your look-to-book conversion rates from 16% to as much as 67%.  If your hotel has not jumped on the Virtual Reality bandwagon, what are you waiting for? 

Click and drag your cursor glove in the 360 video to view each room.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts; Video by: The Learning Partnership/Partenariat on Education

Why Your Customers Want Pre-Booking VR Tours 

As travel begins to reach normal rates once more, your customer not only wants more online presence but actually demands it. Many have dealt with virtual meetings, virtual medical appointments, and made virtual purchases. They want to know exactly what they can expect, and they want to do it at their own pace. No longer are online videos or still photographs acceptable for your discerning customer.   

  • Face it. Virtual reality is fun. Customers enjoy looking at the things that interest them, skipping over the things that don’t.  They can feel immersed in your property, and feel as if they are exploring their accommodations. And because of that, they stay on your site for extended periods. In fact, they stay as much as five to ten times longer than if the site had no VR tour.   
  • Your customer will not only stay on your booking site longer,  but they are also enjoying the tour enough to book more often. Millennials, in fact, are as much as 130% more likely to book based on a virtual tour.   
  • Your competitors offer it.  Your customer wants the ease of browsing, the security in knowing what they are getting, and the ability to view and book in the same place.  There are over five million virtual tours every day globally, so without one, your prospective customer may feel you are not as modern, savvy, or customer service oriented.

Why Are VR Tours So Successful? 

When booking, your website visitor has many choices.  Your competitors offer 360 VR tours, and your customer is familiar with navigating the tour.  They are not rushed as in a video presentation, nor are they confused with still photos. With VR tours, they are able to feel immersed in the image, as if they have already arrived.  Since more customers return to a site that offers VR tours, return visitors will increase your booking conversion rates as well.  According to a study by eMarketer, compared to as little as 10 years ago, approximately 57% of hotels in the US were booked online.  That number has only increased since the pandemic when many additional clients became more familiar with online reservations.

virtual reality, vr tour, vr booking, lobbyTravelers who are booking vacations consider the internet their main source of travel planning.  According to  Think with Google, leisure travelers visit an average of 22 travel-related sites before booking and a staggering eighty-eight percent of travelers would switch to another site if yours doesn’t satisfy their needs.  

Of course, in order to attract and keep customers, you must offer a high-quality, high-resolution VR tour, giving them an experience that they want to repeat in person.  Because they are spending so much time there, you want to be sure that the time spent is enjoyable, and gives them the total experience.  Once your customer is excited about their virtual experience, you need to carry that over to the booking stage, where they can easily navigate the process.  If the transition is difficult or cumbersome, you could easily lose the client to your competitor. 

How to Get Started with a Pre-Booking VR Tour 

Of course, pre-booking VR tours are just a piece of the total sales and market package.  But do not underestimate the effect that a VR tour can have on your profit margin.  Virtual reality is not just specific to the hotel business.  Customers are purchasing automobiles, touring new homes, and visiting national landmarks.  No longer will they settle for the website experience of years past.  They want to be in the center of the property, walking virtually from room to room.  If there is something they want to give a bit of extra attention, they can do it.   

Your combined digital sales and marketing program can present an appealing concept to your prospective visitors.  Though a VR tour is not a standalone marketing program, it will enhance your current digital profile and improve your standings.  As a professional hotelier, you know the importance of giving the best service and all-around experience to your customer.  Virtual Reality tours can elevate the experience. 

Click and drag your cursor glove in the 360 video to view each room.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites; Video by: Mood Studio- Virtual Reality Tours, 360 Videos, 3D Product Configurators

How NewGen Advisory Can Help

Your internet presence is critical to your bottom line.  Adding or refining a virtual tour option will increase the number of visitors and convert more visits into viable bookings.  Your customers will be captivated for longer periods of time and will be intrigued enough to return.  They will also share their experiences with their friends and coworkers.  They may even plan their vacation around your hotel instead of fitting your hotel into their travel plans.  

NewGen Advisory can help.  We are here to identify your new customer and provide insight on providing the essentials that will keep them coming back for more.  We have shown you how to operate with a diminished workforce, and even how to get your hotel vacation-ready. Set yourself apart from your competitors with market strategies, that include pre-booking VR tours, as well as other components that will add to your success.  We can show you how.  Contact us by either giving us a call or filling out our convenient form on our contact page.   

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