Shangri-La Launches Global Sales Tool Of The Future
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts today announced the first-ever integration of virtual reality (VR) experiences into worldwide hotel sales efforts. The group has rolled out Samsung Gear VR headsets across all Global Sales Offices and produced immersive 360-degree videos for over a quarter of its 94 hotels and resorts. Nearly half of the hotel portfolio will have VR videos available by January, with full roll out to be completed in 2016.
"Shangri-La is investing significantly in technology and the future of travel content, which is why we are embracing virtual reality on this scale," said Steven Taylor, chief marketing officer of Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd. "VR is a revolutionary new sales tool. The technology has evolved so that it is now affordable, light and portable; virtual reality is on the cusp of becoming more mainstream."
Viewing the 360-degree videos is a completely immersive experience that feels live and dynamic. Watching the Hylandia by Shangri-La video, viewers find themselves a passenger in a car driving through the breathtaking countryside outside of Shangri-La City, China. They can absorb the array of sights and sounds while standing at the edge of Genghis Khan Square in Ulaanbaatar; tour the presidential suite of Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo; or experience the best view of Beijing from a guestroom in China World Summit Wing, the tallest building in the city.
"Travel experts play a critical role in their fields and the traveller's decision-making process. This is why our first VR efforts are focused on them," said Taylor. "Their clients depend on them to ensure holidays, business trips and meetings are enjoyable and effective. Shangri-La's VR experiences will enhance their knowledge about our hotels and their ability to sell with confidence to their clients."
Shangri-La began developing virtual reality videos in May with Brand Karma and previewed ones of Shangri-La hotels and excursions in Ulaanbaatar, Lhasa and Shangri-La City at ILTM in Shanghai this past June. Video production was accelerated given the positive feedback in order to roll the headsets out to the group's 17 Global Sales Offices.
"We want to employ innovative technology in a way that is meaningful to our trade partners and beneficial to consumers," said Taylor. "Not only will Shangri-La's immersive 360-degree videos provide travel experts a better understanding of the Shangri-La product and experience, but there are many creative applications. For example, a travel planner could virtually walk a CEO through Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong's ballroom prior to a big product announcement or use it to heighten clients' anticipation for an upcoming trip."
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About Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, one of the world's premier hotel owners and operators, currently manages over 100 hotels globally in 75 destinations under the Shangri-La, Kerry, Hotel Jen and Traders brands. Prominently positioned in Asia, the group has established its hallmark of "hospitality from the heart" over four decades in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, North America and the Indian Ocean. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in Australia, Bahrain, mainland China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. For more information, visit www.shangri-la.com.