Yacht life: Luxury virtual holiday tours will leave you gobsmacked

Pack our bags, we’re sold.

Have you been to a ‘five-star’ resort that’s turned out to be a hotel from hell?Too often opulent websites and misleading photos give totally unrealistic ideas of what to expect.In the world of luxury travel however, whether you’re booking a tranquil spa resort or a grand ski chalet, you want to know what you’re shelling out for.That’s why savvy companies are embracing the world of virtual tours.

They make a life of luxury look more appealing than ever.

Virtual tours

When it comes to taking a virtual tour, there are already a host of incredible destinations to explore.

Sporty types might want to check out the smart Chalet Etoile ski cabin in the French Alps; while adventurers will enjoy exploring the rustic Bearfoot Lodge tucked into Tennessee’s Bluff Mountains.

You can practically feel the chilled vibes as you zoom around The Spa in Galgorm, Ireland, and the sea breeze on board AccorTour‘s luxury yacht fleet in Florida.

Using your mouse you can click from spot to spot, taking in all of a location’s details, while a swift pan out reveals a ‘dollhouse’ model of the entire space layout.

It’s a process that’s been made possible by a company called Matterport, which has now mapped over 500k spaces across 85 countries – and its library of virtual tours is growing every day.

Great for guests

The whole idea is to help hotels be more transparent about their accommodation – and to help holidaymakers make the best decision for them, James Morris-Manuel, EMEA Director at Matterport, told The Memo.

“We want holiday makers to benefit from a true sense of what their destination will be like,” he explained. “To see the beauty of a beach-side resort, or the striking calm of a ski chalet.”

“Being able to fully immerse yourself in a VR tour not only provides you with a great decision making tool, it also offers a quick escape on a lunch break or weekend,” he adds.

(It’s a great way to while away your lunch hour).

Handy for hotels

What’s more, happy customers ultimately spell for happier hotels, as research by Vasca rental management shows that a Matterport 3D tour can increase online engagement around a property by 15%, and result in a 14% more bookings.

David Gidet, a property manager at Aravis Holidays (who recently adopted Matterport), said nothing else has matched the ‘wow factor’ of virtual tours.

“Everything was drab, unprofessional looking or just disappointing until we saw our first Matterport scan,” says Gidet.

“We’ve now scanned nearly all of our properties & the feedback has been amazing.”

The future of luxury

Perhaps unsurprisingly Matterport’s Morris-Manuel predicts that “3D tours will become the industry standard”. But costs aren’t cheap.

A Matterport Pro2 mapping camera costs £3,295, although hotels can also book a cheaper one-off capture of their property. It can take a full day to map a property.

VR is also coming in a big way, says Morris-Manuel: “As VR headsets become more easily accessible, we will see even more demand from consumers.”

“Why would you take a chance on booking your holiday through a slide show, when you could walk round your hotel or resort in true perspective, see a floor plan, and experience all of the details.”

It’s not as good as checking out a holiday spot in real life. But it comes pretty darn close.

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