May 19, 2016
By Meghan Chipman
Earlier this week I attended one of the Canadian Travel Industry’s signature annual events: the Best Western Leisure Travel Summit. Best Western used the occasion to announce the launch of their Best Western Virtual Reality Experience. This will provide guests with an immersive, 360 degree look into its hotels, reinventing how guests view hotels, and definitively enhancing the decision-making process of choosing a hotel.
By this summer, every Best Western branded hotel in North America will have implemented this Virtual Reality Experience. Before stepping foot on the property, guests will be able to view rooms, lobbies and amenities, as if they were there in person. Look up, and your view shifts upwards; look left and the scene revolves to the left. For the past three years, Best Western has worked in partnership with Google Street View to gather 1.7 million photos of its 2,200 North American hotels. Using Google Street View Technology along with a customized narration and music, the Best Western Virtual Reality Experience creates an amazing way to get an all-embracing feel for the hotel before you book. I had a sneak peek at the technology and it really works well. It’s a sign of things to come and I will seek to tell the story more fully on a future Travel Show.