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When clients need an extra nudge before committing to a Hawaii booking, travel agents can call on an increasing number of virtual reality (VR) products to clinch the sale.
“VR tools give clients the opportunity to instantly understand what it feels like to be in Hawaii,” said Robyn Basso, senior director of travel industry sales for Hawaii Tourism United States. “It’s fun, interactive and appeals to all ages, especially a younger demographic.”
One of the four newest VR innovations comes from Hilton Waikiki Beach on Kuhio. It’s the first Hawaii hotel to offer a stand-alone virtual experience as a mobile app, making it handy for agents who travel frequently. Viewers can use it as a 360-degree video tour on a desktop or as an immersive activity on headsets.
Oahu’s Iolani Palace has launched a mobile app for iPhones and Androids. Guests can explore the palace’s grounds and navigate its highlights courtesy of an interactive map. As agents and clients use the app, they hear stories about the historic attraction and learn how Hawaii’s last reigning monarchs lived.
Star of Honolulu — which runs dinner, whale-watching and special-event cruises — has introduced an online VR tour that lets viewers see the results of the ship’s $1 million renovation. Agents and clients get a you-are-there look at the art deco-inspired interior decor as well as exterior decks.
Royal Star Hawaii, a source of bus charters and island tours, recently rolled out a VR product that showcases its motorcoaches — from seats and storage space to restrooms and safety features. Users also can preview Royal Star’s new airport lei-greeting services.
Hilton Waikiki Beachwww.hiltonwaikikibeach.com
Royal Star Hawaiiwww.royalstarhawaii.com
Star of Honoluluwww.starofhonolulu.com