In the last decade Kerala tourism development corporation has been taking aggressive steps to promote the tourism industry, providing it with a base to develop into one of the countries best. Last year it declared the ace upon it’s sleeve, the use of virtual reality technology to promote itself.
VR in Kerala Tourism
Kerala Tourism, has taken up the initiative to promote the state via 360 videos. Six selected destinations across the state will feature in this special video, which is expected to boost it’s online viewership to a great extent. The God’s own country has taken it up a notch when compared to other states of the country. The special short video will be uploaded in their own dedicated Youtube channel which already boasts a viewership of over 3 million subscriptions. The destinations which have been chosen are Bekal, Thekkady, Pookkdore Lake, Thalassery Fort and athirapally and will cost an estimated 62 lakhs in Indian currency. The government finally gave the green light to this project which failed to take off 2 years ago. Kerala Tourisms IT solution partner, Invis multimedia has been entrusted with the task of uploading the videos within a deadline of 3 months. Each destination will have one to two minutes of coverage and will cover popular art forms and local tourist attractions. Initially 10 destinations were shortlisted, among which these six made the final cut. Worldwide also, the best beaches of Mauritius and other famous tourist destinations are equipped.
What are 360 videos?
2016, as it seems is the year of virtual reality. As we enter the final quarter of the year VR technologies, specially 360 videos are on the rise. We have experienced experiments in this field before, providing mixed results. But for the past year or so, a large number of start-ups have shown interest in making a foray in this area. The current market has seen a plethora of top notch 360 video cameras, most of them having an influx of additional bonus features which are too good to ignore. A 360 camera provides us with a 360*360 view of a place or premise, this features have so far been widely used in the CCTV sector. To simply define it, audio visual view of our surroundings just like in reality, from all directions. We can drag it in any direction and view from any angle. Also VR headsets have gained popularity which provide the most immersive and real experience of videos or movies. The lens of a 360 video camera capture overlapping views, which are stitched together to form a full 360 video. This technology is not only alluring but also fully mainstream, even smart phones nowadays come with VR headsets and panorama shot features.
How does it help tourism industry
The 360 video cameras have taken up the travel industry by storm. The competition is cut throat, but unparalleled features including Facebook and Youtube integration makes it more attractive. It’s the magical wand that travel enthusiasts always desired. And now, 360 videos are making an entry into tourism promotions too.
Expectations of VR in attracting more business
According to an executive of Kerala tourism the current number of subscriptions is 3.8 million which is expected to rise up to 4.6 million this year. Unlike the first initiative taken in 2005, this time the process is expected to be smooth and less complicated. The videos will be available on the youtube channel as well as their official Facebook page as well as the recently launched app for smart phones. The hope is to attract more international viewers and tourists to God’s own country.
Kerala tourism have the paved the way for usage of Virtual reality technologies in the country, shaking up its competiotions. It is now up to the other state tourism departments to upgrade themselves and match the level Kerala has reached. It certainly looks like quite a delightful situation when it comes to the tourism industry of India.