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VR + Travel = Increased Demand

“Every virtual trip increases the demand for physical travel.”

-Michael Dail, Marriott’s VP of brand marketing

Top travel brands all over the world are turning to VR to give customers a taste of their offerings - and the evidence shows that it works! Here are just a few of many case studies of travel industry companies getting a huge ROI on their virtual reality experiences.

Virgin Holidays

In January 2015, to avoid the constant flight of customers who left because they were sick of waiting, in some of their stores they introduced VR so customers could see immersive content of some of the destinations they sold like the Riviera Maya while they waited. The result for the stores that participated in the campaign was:

  • Sales increase of 60%.

  • Sales to the Riviera Maya increased by 86%.

  • Obtained an ROI of the 46:1

Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook test-drove virtual reality marketing in 10 of its European retail stores last year, letting consumers try on headsets that took them on a virtual helicopter tour over Manhattan in partnership with Brand USA. The result: VR-promoted New York excursion revenue skyrocketed 190% in those locations.

British Columbia

Destination British Columbia was one of the first travel destinations to give VR a try. The Canadian-based destination marketers created a VR experience of what it’d be like to traverse British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. The results, according to Maya Lange, Destination BC’s vice president of global marketing, was a 5 percent increase in visitors and 65 million media impressions with its “The Wild Within” VR experience.

Cathay Pacific

In an effort to better target potential customers who have never traveled on a Cathay Pacific flight or live far away from one of its six American gateways, Cathay Pacific used 360° video with hotspots to help customers experience the brand firsthand through immersion and interaction. This experience served the airline's greater goal of establishing Cathay Pacific as the leader in travel to Asia. The results speak for themselves:

  • The 360° campaign outperformed all prior brand campaigns

  • 29% lift in unaided awareness

  • 25% lift in brand favorability

  • Higher than average CTR rates for the travel industry at 0.33%


Marriott has done several VR marketing campaigns. One unique campaign they ran was called “VRoom Service,” in which guests at specific locations could request a VR headset to their room. Along with this campaign, the company created “VR Postcards,” short travel stories to places like the Andes Mountains in Chile or an ice cream shop in Rwanda. Fifty-one percent of people who viewed the experience said they wished Vroom Service was available at more Marriotts.

St. Giles Hotel

St. Giles distributed a series of 360° videos showcasing various hotel locations in cities like London and Kuala Lumpur. The campaign was designed to show how the centrality of St. Giles luxury hotels effortlessly connects guests to the best experience of their destination city. The campaign sought to provide potential guests with a sense of what it's like stay at a St. Giles property: central, inspiring and luxurious. The results:

  • 36 point lift in brand recall

  • Almost 7x more audience engagement compared to its past campaigns using flat content.

Don't want your travel brand to be left in the dust? Book a free consultation today!


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