Hawaii Travel Planning Goes 3-D

New website assists travel planners By: Marty Wentzel
3D Hawaii provides an interactive way to plan your clients’ next trip to Hawaii. // © 2010 3D Hawaii
3D Hawaii provides an interactive way to plan your clients’ next trip to Hawaii. // © 2010 3D Hawaii

The Details

Hawaii has always been known for its legendary cityscapes and landscapes. Now a Honolulu-based company has come up with a way to experience them online in multiple dimensions. Called 3D Hawaii, the first-ever interactive three-dimensional travel portal provides users with a creative way to plan trips to the 50th state.

Created by Team Vision Virtual, 3D Hawaii incorporates Google Earth technology as it showcases a selection of hotels, resorts, restaurants, shopping centers, beaches, parks and visitor attractions — many in a 3-D environment — to help planners arrange vacations and business trips to Hawaii. After exploring the options, browsers can make reservations using links on the site.

“We have published hundreds of high-quality 3-D buildings on Google Earth, which is going to drive a substantial amount of new Web visitor traffic to our destination and our partners,” said Team Vision Virtual spokesman Craig Carapelho. “Hotels, activities, shopping centers, historic landmarks and other venues featured will help solidify the decision-making process for prospective visitors, allowing them to actually ‘experience’ all of our state’s destinations in 3-D. It’s the next best thing to actually being here.”

Along with powerful visuals, the site presents stories and articles aimed at introducing newcomers to Hawaii’s most popular activities while exposing repeat guests to off-the-beaten-path attractions and restaurants.

More than 2,000 travel listings are currently represented on 3-D Hawaii, including Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ Hawaii properties, Hilton Hawaii, Hyatt Regency Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki Galleria, Shops at Wailea, Kaanapali Beach Hotel and activities such as Paradise Cove Luau, Dole Plantation and the Polynesian Cultural Center.

“For Starwood Hotels and Resorts, 3D Hawaii helps guests understand how our properties are positioned in relation to the beach and other landmarks,” said Michael Troy, a spokesman for Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Hawaii. “Seeing our properties ‘pop’ versus those that are ‘flat’ or not easily defined will give us an advantage.”

Once 3D Hawaii gains traction, Team Vision Virtual will begin developing sites for other popular domestic and international destinations. Carapelho expects to roll out new sites in 10 markets in the next 18 months.

>