If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re thinking of incorporating a virtual tour into your marketing strategy. Nearly any business can benefit from a virtual tour, but for the travel & hospitality industry, virtual tours are quickly becoming a must-have. In this guide, we’ll cover the top 3 reasons why virtual tours are responsible for selling out hotel rooms worldwide.
If you're not exactly sure what a virtual tour is, you can check out some examples here.
1. Virtual tours increase trust and customer confidence
Imagine you booked a hotel that promised you a spacious room with a king-size bed, fully stocked minibar, and an ocean view. However, upon check-in, you are shocked to discover that your room is only slightly larger than the king-size bed it encompasses, the minibar contains a single bottle of water, and you would have to dangle dangerously far out the window just to see a faint sliver of the ocean.
Unfortunately, these kinds of misleading claims are all too common in the industry. As a result, consumers are more skeptical than ever and rely more heavily on visuals to help them make purchasing decisions. As the old saying goes, “seeing is believing.”
Virtual tours provide your customer with the most authentic impression of what they will experience at your hotel. Elements aren't hidden with staged photos that only show the best angles or make an area seem bigger than it is. The bottom line is that virtual tours demonstrate honesty and transparency, so don’t miss this opportunity to establish trust with your customers.
2. Virtual tours get customers excited to book
When we imagine the best part of a vacation, we may picture ourselves sipping cocktails on a tropical beach or standing in awe of a national monument. But the happiest part of your vacation usually happens way before you ever step foot at your destination. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Research in Quality of Life, just looking forward to your trip can make you happier than actually taking it.
Immersive experiences help your guests imagine themselves inside your space– whether they will wake up on 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, enjoy a fabulous breakfast buffet with a view of snow-capped mountains, take Instagram-worthy selfies at a rooftop bar, or...well you get the idea! These mental pictures trigger warm and fuzzy feelings of anticipation. And when potential customers feel excited about imagining themselves at your hotel, they'll feel compelled to book. Virtual tours can further capitalize on this emotion by offering the option to make a direct booking within the tour.
3. Virtual tours increase traffic and engagement on your website
With all the competition in the industry, we understand that it can be hard to stand out. If your website doesn’t immediately WOW a potential customer, they'll quickly move on to the next. But what if your website ranks so low in Google's listings that potential customers never even see it?
When it comes to marketing your business online, any marketing strategist knows that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital in driving traffic to your website. There are many various factors that matter when it comes to SEO, but Google takes dwell time very seriously. For example, if a person goes to your site and is only there for a few seconds, Google will list your website lower in their rankings because the algorithm interprets your website as having low engagement. On the other hand, if a person is on your site for several minutes, this tells Google’s algorithm that your website is relevant, engaging, and meaningful.
Disruptive booking platforms like Google Hotel Finder have put virtual tours front-and-center because immersive experiences increase dwell time by 5-10 fold. As a result, virtual tours can make the difference between a first and second-page position for your website's Google ranking, so you definitely want to take advantage of this boost in ranking. At the end of the day, increased traffic to your website results in more online bookings for your business.
Virtual tours can dramatically change how the public thinks about your brand. And the good news is that you don't have to be a tech guru to create one. In fact, TeliportMe 360 Virtual Tours requires no advanced technical skill at all. You can even create a virtual tour using only your phone!
To see just how easy it can be, check out this short introductory video:
TeliportMe was rated the #1 virtual tour software on the market in 2022. If you're hesitant to take the plunge, we encourage you to take advantage of their unlimited free trial. The trial allows you to create your own virtual tour and try out all the features before ever paying a dime. You'll able to include extra information that your hotel guests care about– like menus, custom branding, and links to book directly. And you'll only be charged if you decide to publish your tour publicly.