19 June 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Fáilte Ireland employs virtual reality tshowcase key destinations and activities
Fáilte Ireland today announced that virtual reality (VR) experiences along the Wild Atlantic Way can now be accessed publicly via apps or on desktops. The tourism authority also unveiled its new 360° views of the Wild Atlantic Way which will add another level of immersion when visitors research the destination.
Fáilte Ireland recently piloted VR as a potential sales tool at ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest tourism trade fairs with 10,000 exhibitors from 187 countries and territories and with approximately 100,000 international trade visitors and members of the public in attendance.
Following on from the successful demonstration to the international trade, Failte Ireland are now giving everyone the chance to view the experiences for themselves. A number of exciting activities (surfing under the Cliffs of Moher; sea stack climbing; beach horse riding; and cycling along the Wild Atlantic Way) are now all available on virtual reality apps including LittleStar and Samsung Milk VR.
The experiences can also be viewed in new 360° videos which allow viewers to tap, click or drag the video to change their viewing angle and see what’s happening around them giving the viewer an almost life like experience. These can be viewed on desktop and mobile websites as well as on VR Headsets, Google Cardboard.
These cutting edge views are available across all Wild Atlantic Way digital platforms including www.WildAtlanticWay.com as well as across social media channels including Facebook and YouTube. You can access a handy guide on using the new videos here.
Already the first of the 360° videos promoted publicly, Surfing at the Cliffs of Moher, has generated 150,000 views amongst potential visitors.
Speaking about how Fáilte Ireland is using the latest technology to innovate tourism, Head of Marketing, Daragh Anglim explained:
“The world of tourism is becoming increasingly competitive. Using this new technology to bring almost life-like experiences to visitors as they research and book their holidays will ensure that Ireland can stand out in a crowded marketplace. Furthermore it also proves that Ireland can compete with the best when it comes to employing emerging technologies and using innovation to drive tourism numbers.
Fáilte Ireland is also using the latest 360° technology to provide visitors with an immersive view of all 15 key Wild Atlantic Way Signature Discovery Points. Each signature point on the map can be viewed from an overhead satellite view which can be rotated and manoeuvred with a mouse or keyboard (you can interact with these views on this map ).
The VR and 360° experiences were commissioned by Fáilte Ireland and filmed earlier this year using a combination of drone; custom built mounted back packs and go-pro equipment to truly give this immersive perspective.
Fáilte Ireland also plans to integrate the VR experiences and 360°views across their Tourist Office network and, ultimately, make them available to the tourism trade for their own promotional activities. The production of more Wild Atlantic Way VR Experiences will get underway later this summer.