Sightseeing News & Views
April 30th, 2017

1st VR Newsletter for the Travel Industry

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Deborah ReinowNOTE FROM THE EDITOR
In each issue of this newsletter, we aim to bring the travel industry information that will help you understand what’s happening in VR/AR that is, and will be affecting the way travel is researched, bought and experienced. We’re excited to be partnering with Greenlight Insights on a webinar that will speak DIRECTLY to this goal. It’s going to be held on June 6th, 9am PST and is called: VR Wanderlust: Why Virtual Reality is the New tool for travel Marketeers.” We hope you tune in....and after watching , you might think about going to Greenlights’ Virtual Reality Strategy Conference in October here in San Francisco. If you do, we’ll see you there! Register-Webinar   Register-Conference

Booking VRNavitaire unveils the world’s first Virtual Reality travel search and booking experience  Traveldailynews.com
The VR experience could change the way travellers shop for and purchase trips, helping airlines and other travel companies become next generation retailers. The innovation allows travellers to spin a globe of the world, visit a destination, search for flights, walk through a plane to select their seat, check out different rental cars, and pay for their entire trip— all without leaving virtual reality. READ MORE

China VR Theme ParkWorld’s first Virtual Reality theme park is now open in China – and wildly successful  Insidethemagic.net
Virtual reality fans get ready for the ultimate sensory overload – China has just opened the world’s first virtual reality theme park. SoReal theme park is a massive 32,000 sq. ft. of virtual reality heaven. The theme park was co-founded by film director Zhang Yimou –the man who directed the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening ceremony, in addition to films like “House of Flying Daggers” and “Hero.” The Virtual Reality wonderland is located in the heart of Beijing, only two blocks from Tiananmen Square. The park will feature eight main attractions, including what is said to be “the world’s largest” free-roaming VR system (no wires needed). READ MORE


St Giles HotelsSt Giles Hotels lets guests tell virtual-reality stories   thestar.com
St. Giles Hotels, a boutique chain of nine independently managed hotels across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, has launched a new virtual-reality campaign to inspire global travel and showcase the ideal, central locations of each of its properties. Rather than featuring the services and facilities of each hotel, the user-generated campaign called St Giles 360 encourages guests to highlight their own travel adventures and unique experiences at nearby attractions with virtual-reality videos. St Giles Hotels is the first hospitality brand to use guest-generated virtual-reality content to connect its guests with enriching travel experiences steps away from its properties. READ MORE

LA China VR L.A. To Lure More Chinese Tourists Through VR   Travelerstoday.com
Los Angeles became the top U.S. destination for Chinese tourists last year, but the City of Angels has no plans of getting complacent. By tapping into the VR technology, it hopes to draw even bigger numbers. The annual number of Chinese tourists to L.A. just went over 1 million last year, up to 22 percent from 2015. The latest data from the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board revealed that these travelers who came all the way from mainland China lavished $1.28 billion in L.A. in 2015 alone. If you match this with the report from Canalys, a technology market analyst firm in Singapore that revealed about 40 percent of VR headsets shipped to China, it's easy to see where the tourism industry comes in. READ MORE



VR North KoreaNow Anyone Can Travel To The Heart Of North Korea (And Not End Up In a Prison Camp)   National interest.org
A Swedish startup has created the world’s first interactive virtual reality model of North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang. North Korea is one of the most exotic travel destinations in the world, but visiting has its risks. The U.S. Department of State “strongly urges” eager travelers to avoid venturing into North Korea, where foreign nationals have been detained for years for absurd crimes against the regime.  The new virtual reality app created by SceneThere allows people to visit Pyongyang without having to leave the comfort of their homes. READ MORE

VR Bar LondonLondon Bar Adds Unnecessary VR Component to Cocktails   eater.com
British chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton is dipping his toes into the virtual reality game. The chef, who has three Michelin-starred restaurants in London (Pollen Street Social, Social Eating House, and City Social), thriving restaurants in Asia, and opened clubhouse The Clocktower in New York in 2015, is launching the first-ever “augmented reality cocktail menu” at the bar at City Social, his restaurant on the 24th floor of London’s Tower 42. In an apparent grab for social media shares, the drinks will be real, but appear on your phone screen with virtual art that reflects the cocktails’ themes and flavors. READ MORE

Royal Lahaina Resort

Air Space MuseumTried And True: DCist Rides Air And Space Museum's New Virtual Reality Machine   Dcist.com
Fewer than 600 people have traveled to space, but many more can trick their brain into believing they have thanks to a new virtual reality machine at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Virtual Reality Transporter joins more than a dozen other machines in the museum's room of simulator rides, which all offer different levels of immersion in the reality of piloting and shooting from planes.   "We can transcend time and space," says Raj Deshpande, founder and CEO of PulseWorks, the Atlanta-based company that develops, owns, and operates the machines. "The brain is smart, so we're playing cognitive tricks—wizardry—to fool your senses and transport you."  READ MORE

VR FlyingFlap your wings and fly with Birdly, a full-body virtual reality flight simulator Chicagotribune.com
Zabdiel Avives flew across New York, gliding over and around buildings on the landscape — but the 12-year-old boy only had to travel about a dozen miles from his Maywood home for the experience. He was one of the first Chicagoans to test Birdly, a full-body virtual reality flight simulator set up last week at the Field Museum — one that could come permanently to the museum later this year.  The simulator lets users experience soaring through a city like a bird, flapping their wings and feeling the wind in their face. READ MORE

San Francisco CVB
VR Six FlagsNew virtual reality ride features extreme heights, spiders   Wwaytv3.com
A New Jersey theme park is unveiling what it calls the world’s tallest and fastest virtual reality drop ride that will prey on people’s fears of heights and spiders.
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson says riders of Drop of Doom VR will plunge 41 stories at speeds of up to 90 mph (145 kph) while battling mutant spiders.
They’ll have a 360-degree virtual reality view as baby spiders virtually crawl over their bodies. The ride is scheduled to debut on May 5. READ MORE

VR Antartic PengiunsWalk with penguins in ground-breaking virtual reality video  Birdlife.org
For the first time, you can instantly transport yourself to a sub-antarctic island and immerse in the lives of penguins—thanks to a new 3D 360-degree film. Walk with Southern Rockhopper, King, Magellanic, and Gentoo Penguins on a remote island, in a new short film produced with Visualise for BirdLife International’s “Protect a Penguin” global campaign, to raise awareness that over half of the world’s penguins are threatened with extinction. Watch the video now. READ MORE

GermanyGermany launches VR experience to celebrate Reformation anniversary   Travelweek.ca
Churches all across Germany and around the world are gearing up to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and its famed leader Martin Luther, who in 1517 famously nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. To commemorate this historic event, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) has launched an integrated marketing campaign that includes a virtual reality experience starring a Playmobil Luther, now available to travel agents on Xplr VR. READ MORE


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