SA Tourism Using Virtual Reality Tech To Lure Tourists

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Written by Dana Sanchez

South African Tourism has condensed an action-packed holiday complete with cage -diving with sharks and abseiling down Cape Town’s Table Mountain into a five-minute virtual reality experience, MarketingMagazine reports.

Using Oculus Rift technology and tourism experiences, the tourism board and agencies UM London, Visualise, Somethin Else and Tribe have launched a campaign targeting bars in London and Manchester, where consumers can don a virtual reality headset and experience South Africa in high definition and binaural sound.

Oculus describes itself as a technology company that’s revolutionizing the way people experience video games. The Rift uses custom tracking technology allowing users to don goggles and headphones and look around the virtual world just they would in real life. Every subtle movement of your head is tracked in real time, creating a natural and intuitive experience, Oculus said.

“When Facebook bought Oculus, we all knew in the back of our minds it wasn’t just for its gaming potential,” Aaron Edwards wrote in a review in OverMental.com. “While many assumed we would see virtual reality being used for new ways to navigate social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, there are many more real world uses for the technology. An unexpected use has been revealed by ATTA, the African Tourism and Travel Association.”

Selected London bars will have virtual reality pods installed in April. Venues can add to the experience with South African street food, wine-tasting of Cape Wines, and DJs. Imagery of South African animals and landscapes will also be projected during the event.

“We want to surprise the U.K. travelling public and Oculus Rift is the ideal partner for us to reach a young, tech-savvy market,” said Juan Herrada, U.K. marketing manager for South African Tourism.