Virtual reality is being used to give potential tourists a glimpse of a railway through Western Norway.
The 360° virtual reality tour of the Flåm Railway line lasts 44 minutes, covers 20km and has been created to mark its 75th anniversary year by Expedia Norway and Visit Flåm.
The steepest railway in Europe passes snow-covered mountains, waterfalls, steep valleys and fjord landscapes. It’s the first time the tourist board has used virtual reality in its marketing.
Landmarks that appear along the route include mountainside Myrdal Station, Norway’s largest national park Hardangervidda, 225m waterfall Kjosfossen, plunge waterfall Rjoandefossen, wooden Flåm Church (built in 1667) and Flåm Station and its railway museum.
As users pass the landmarks from the comfort of their homes, information about the sites pops up on the screen.
The 360° footage can be explored from any angle by dragging the screen and, if you have a virtual reality headset, or a pair of VR glasses and a smartphone, you can switch to VR mode.
Earlier this month at a media event at its London offices, Expedia’s senior vice president and head of global retail Gary Morrison said he expected VR to play a pivotal role in the future of travel search.
Virtual reality was also one of the main subjects on the lips of the travel technology sector at this year’s World Travel Market.