A virtual tour is a simulation of an existing location, usually composed of a sequence of videos or still images. It may also use other multimedia elements such as sound effects, music, narration, and text. It is distinguished from the use of live television to affect tele-tourism (Wikipedia). This is the simplest definition of virtual tour, which is used mostly by realtors and schools to give campus tours and open house for interested buyers.
Imagine bringing that into tourism. What this simply means is you get to have a preview and understanding of your interested destinations before physical visit.
This will boost the market for tour operators that want to promote their business.
Think of the wonderful landscape of the Kajuru castle in Kaduna, to taking a train from Abuja to Kaduna, then going on to Gurara Waterfall in Minna, taking a safari ride in Yankari Game reserve and feeling on top of the world while climbing up the Mambilla plateau in Taraba, to playing in the clouds at Obudu Mountain and ending it all at a cool restaurant in Victoria Island, all within the space of an hour and not leaving your present position.
All this is possible thanks to Virtual reality technology.
Introducing the Tourism Innovation & Development Advantag (TIDA), a concept of Skyview Communications.
According to Femi Lawson, the convener of TIDA conference and CEO of Skyview Communications, "Nigeria’s tourist sites have been underserved for decades and that the time is ripe for the country to take its rightful place in the committee of tourism-heavy nations."
“Virtual Tourism is a product, a recording of all Nigerian tourist destinations in a video on VR. It means that when we attend exhibitions outside the country, if a prospective tourist can share where s/he wishes to go in Nigeria, I can give him/her a VR to watch and experience Nigeria. What that will do is to pique people’s interest so much that they want to come to Nigeria.”
According to Pew Internet Life Study, a site with a virtual tour and interactive media will receive 38% more views than a competitor’s site that is lacking media. On a typical day, more than six million people view virtual tour.
Imagine what this kind of attention and boost this will be for the Nigerian Tourism Market.
Mr Femi Lawson has this to say on the concept. “TIDA intends to bring stakeholders, young entrepreneurs and representatives of government together to discuss the opportunities that exist in the Nigerian tourism industry and how we can take advantage of it to transform the economy of the country and its negative image." Adding that one of the key objectives of the conference (to hold on February 15 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs) will be the launch of Virtual Tourism, the first ever of its kind in Nigeria.
Virtual Tour will positively influence real trips and get interest piqued enough for people to start booking tours and visiting the many wonderful landscapes and tourist sites in Nigeria.
You can register to attend TIDA here