Virtual Reality set to take travel industry by storm: Bloomberg

28th June 2015
Virtual Reality set to take travel industry by storm: Bloomberg
Qantas first-class passengers experience virtual reality, via Samsung's Gear VR headset.

June 28 2015: Virtual Reality hardware is suddenly cheap, portable, and there for the travel-brand taking.  Bloomberg Business  has refently surveyed the burgeoning  VR  market for the trave, hospitality  and tourism industry, in an article entitled How Oculus and Cardboard Are Going to Rock the Travel Industry.

Key  points:

  • The Marriott hotel chain is harnessing  one of the latest innovations in virtual reality. Delivered via an Oculus Rift headset inside a special Teleporter station, this experience is part of the hotel chain's “Travel Brilliantly” campaign.
  • "We see virtual reality as an innovation that will change the travel business," says Marco Ryan, chief digital officer for Thomas Cook Group, "The closer you get to the destination, the more excited you are to have that experience"—i.e., buy that experience. In 10 select Thomas Cook store locations in the U.K., Germany, and Belgium, you can strap on a Gear VR headset and try your tour before you buy.Together with a VR company called Visualise, Thomas Cook has begun gathering “excursion” videos.
  • By August, Thomas Cook will be mass mailing 5,000 brochures, equipped with inexpensive (about $24 a pop) Cardboard headsets—both the name and the material. Using specs from Google, these open-source units will let targeted customers use their own smartphones to power custom-branded VR experiences via a downloadable app. 
  • "Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online but entire experiences and adventures—just by putting on goggles in your home," said the Facebook CEO  Mark   Zuckerberg,  who acquired  Oculus makers of ther headmounted VR headset,  in 22014 for  $  2 billion. Oculus commercial headsets will hit the market along with such competitors as HTC's Vive and Sony's Morpheus. Microsoft’s partnership with Oculus adds to its own efforts, which include HoloLens, an augmented-reality headset. 

Read the  full  June 19 Bloomberg piece byJennifer Parker    here