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4 Benefits of Offering Virtual Hotel Tours for a Better Guest Experience

Offering Virtual Hotel Tours

Providing potential guests with an immersive experience can boost sales and meet guests’ increasing expectations.

Providing virtual and/or virtual reality (VR) tours of hotel rooms, conference space and common areas of your hotel on your hotel or resort website helps you stay ahead of competitors and make your hotel more appealing to potential guests, according to Revfine, a knowledge platform for the hospitality and travel industry.

But you don’t have to stop with the hotel website. You can post virtual tours of your hotel or resort on social media, YouTube and your hotel’s Google My Business account, too.

In fact, many hotel guests now expect to be able to take a virtual or VR tour of your rooms and property before booking.

According to the latest National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS), 30 percent of respondents said they took a virtual room tour when choosing a hotel room in the last 12 months. Around 34 percent said they’d like to take a virtual tour before booking a hotel room in the future.

What is a virtual or virtual reality tour?

Hotel virtual tours come in different forms, from straightforward 360-degree images to experiential VR tours where the user wears a virtual reality headset. Virtual tours can include music, narration or even a manager or staffer showing potential guests around the property.

VR tours take the guest experience to an immersive level that makes the person feel like they’re actually at the hotel. Virtual tours presented on the hotel website or social media, while less immersive than a VR tour, also allow potential guests to experience “visiting” your hotel before booking.

Here are three benefits of providing virtual hotel and resort tours.

1. Virtual tours offer more information to potential guests

Virtual tours allow potential guests to “try before they buy”, according to Cvent, a meetings, events and hospitality provider, headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia. That way, guests can view specific property features they care about while exploring the hotel. Potential guests also won’t be  “bogged down by wordy descriptions or information they don’t need,” says Cvent.

Virtual tours can highlight:

  • Lobby spaces
  • Hotel rooms
  • Hotel amenities
  • Dining areas and restaurants
  • Pool, spa and fitness center areas
  • Meeting and event spaces
  • Hotel or resort grounds
  • Check-in options and process

2. Virtual tours boost revenue

After the Radisson Hotel chain introduced virtual hotel tours for many of its branches globally, the chain experienced a 135% increase in online revenue, amounting to $7,200 more per hotel per month than Radisson’s hotels that didn’t offer virtual tours, according to a case study by IPIX Immersive Still Imaging Group.

3. Virtual hotel tours meet guest expectations

VR has become especially important in the hospitality and travel industries due to the average  amount of information the average customer expects before they book a hotel room, according to Revfine:

“Rather than reading through descriptions, which may or may not be trustworthy, it offers customers the chance to experience things for themselves.”

In addition, more guests expect hotels and other businesses to make virtual tours available. Nearly two-thirds (67 percent) of people surveyed by Reimagine Main Street said they want more businesses to offer virtual tours. And those who view a virtual tour are twice as likely to book a reservation, according to the same source.

4. Virtual tours keep your hotel in step with or ahead of the competition

Hotels that offer the experience of a virtual tour help your hotel stand out from competitors who offer mainly photos and descriptions on their website.