New interactive and virtual reality technology was debuted by Las Vegas today at the annual World Travel Market trade show in London.
The US city has spent the last eight months developing the technology behind an interactive video wall that will tour trade and consumer travel shows around the world promoting the destination.
As well as a tool to drive interest in Las Vegas in the highly competitive trade show floor space, the technology is also being used to train trade partners and in partnership with agents and operators who use it as a sales tool.
Virgin Atlantic has the virtual reality technology in its stores in the UK, as does Flight Centre in Australia.
Nick Mattera, senior director of digital engagement at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said: “People have an idea of what Las Vegas is like but do not necessarily understand all that it has to offer like fine dining and other experiences. Instead of them walking away with a brochure we want them to have an experience with us.”
The video wall allows users to select a property or experience and access detailed information, imagery, video and 360 degree views.
Currently there are 5,000 images, 150 pieces of video content, and 110 360 degree images available, much of them shot by the tourist board, but the volume is growing as hotel and attractions partners come onboard.
The technology can also be rendered down to smaller touch screen devices like laptops, tablets and TVs so trade partners can use it to promote Vegas to customers or train staff.
The interface tracks all interactions and allows users to request more information by inputting an email address enabling the tourist authority to measure response.
“It means you can have more of a conversion one to one,” said Mattera. “We are always looking for trade partnerships. Las Vegas changes so frequently it’s important that you keep up to speed. Sales agents are using virtual reality so they can speak more authoritatively as they are selling Vegas.”
The interactive video wall was due to be officially launched today by England World Cup winning rugby union player Mike Tindall and Gethin Jenkins, the Wales and British and Irish Lions prop.
Vegas is promoting itself as a sports and wellness destination at this year’s WTM having had plans for a new 60,000 seater football stadium approved to which it hopes to attract an NFL American football franchise and UK Premier League clubs to play friendlies.