Prospective visitors can now virtually tour Cape Town. The immersive experience stems from a partnership between a globally leading destination marketing organisation (DMO) Cape Town Tourism (CTT) and virtual tours agency Gecko Digital Global.
Leigh Dawber, CMO of Cape Town Tourism, says they are always looking for new and innovative ways to inspire potential travellers to choose Cape Town. “With the influence of immersive digital experiences, research shows that 70% of people who view a virtual tour online link through to a direct booking opportunity. Tourism bookings can be extrapolated into tourism expenditure and job opportunities in Cape Town, which is Cape Town Tourism’s ultimate goal.”
The partnership between the two organisations is built on shared objectives and value exchange, it lays the foundation for a long-term relationship with an emphasis on innovation and collaboration. It demonstrates how strategic partnerships can leverage technology to explore new ways to promote CTT’s member product to increase bookings and enrich the travel experience.
Jacques Clarijs, South African partner from Gecko Digital Global, says they have seen internationally that 35% of people who view a virtual tour end up making a direct booking with the client on their own booking engine. The typical return on investment for a virtual tour is 14 – 30 days, the highest of any marketing media and trackable through Google Analytics.
Clarijs adds, “With a passion for immersive technologies, Gecko Digital Global’s cutting-edge virtual reality aims to transport travellers on unforgettable journeys from the comfort of their homes. By leveraging state-of-the-art VR advancements, tourists can embark on captivating virtual tours and immerse themselves in the Greatest City on Earth, from walking on its beaches and witnessing it’s mountains, to visiting the vineyards in the Winelands.”
The virtual tour builds on CTT’s existing digital credentials, pioneering an award winning digitally immersive campaign last year. Dawber adds, “We saw the impact of Find Your Freedom from exploring the digital space, and the addition of VR furthers the traction of future enhancements to the campaign. Particularly in the United States, who is Cape Town’s number 3 top source market and the top spenders, the virtual experience is proven to build trust that their travel experience will match or exceed their expectations, and therefore a higher booking rate.”
The advent of “Destination VR Hospitality ” marks a paradigm shift in the travel industry, offering an accessible, sustainable, and immersive alternative for globetrotters yearning to explore the world. The VR experience is available on the Cape Town Tourism website which can be accessed at www.capetown.travel