September 28 - 29, 2020
Las Vegas, NV
Navitaire's Virtual Reality Technology Is Helping Guests Make Better Bookings
Brought to you by WBR Insights
Virtual reality has come a long way in a relatively short time - if you discount the gap between the 80s when the technology was first teased, and now, when it's finally become a reality.
Initially the stuff of entertainment products such as video games, virtual reality is now finding its way into the global workplace. From being used as an innovative training platform to help field service engineers access complicated schematics while on-site, to creating virtual models of the human body to train surgeons, the possibilities for behind-the-scenes virtual reality applications are nearly endless.
However, as its origins lie in entertainment, it only seems right that virtual reality technology also finds a home in creating amazing consumer experiences - and hospitality is one industry where this is happening right now.
A subsidiary of multinational IT provider for the global travel and tourism industry Amadeus IT Group, Navitaire specializes in the development and implementation of innovative systems designed to revolutionize passenger reservations, travel commerce, ancillary revenue, and merchandising.
Navitaire recognizes that younger consumers have learned to enjoy virtual and augmented reality technology and are naturally drawn to brands which are able to offer virtual shopping experiences to fulfill those expectations.
"We live in a 3D world, why shouldn't we shop for travel that way?" said User Experience Developer at Navitaire, Justin Wilde. "I see a future in which the internet will be a 3D experience, and everyone will have their own portable 3D headsets. This will be a much more natural experience for us, because the world we live in has three dimensions. I think technology, and the way we design user experience online, should reflect that too."
It's because of this that the company has introduced a new vacation booking system, which leverages the power of virtual reality to offer unique travel shopping experiences.
With Navitaire's solution, guests can immerse themselves in a virtual reality environment while planning their vacation. Once connected, they'll find themselves standing in the clouds looking down at the earth. From this unique perspective, they can use gesture controls to rotate the globe and select a destination.
Then, much in the same fashion as Google Street View - albeit with an increased level of immersion - the guest is transported to that location. They can find themselves standing in front of famous landscapes, such as the London Eye, the Taj Mahal, or any other destination they want to visit.
"Amadeus' approach to innovation is driven by our awareness of customer needs, the creativity of our employees and our foresight into the trends shaping our industry," said Engineering and Innovation Leader at Amadeus, Rashesh Jethi. "We have to continually evolve how we do things so that we can help our customers adapt to and thrive in a rapidly changing world."
Virtual Reality Booking
If guests like what they see, they can book their trip without having to leave the virtual environment. In fact, they can use the technology to experience all elements of their planned vacation.
The customer can view the inside of the plane they'll be flying on, and even sit in their seat to make sure it's to their taste. When renting a car, they can sit in the various vehicles on offer to help ensure a more informed decision-making process. The features will even extend to hotels and resorts, allowing the traveler to tour various sites before deciding on one.
Navitaire has further plans to add social features to the virtual reality booking system in the future, which will allow guests to view destinations their friends have been to as they tour the globe - hopefully facilitating group travel opportunities.
"We're not just thinking of the next big idea, we want to execute ideas that help our customers to do things more effectively, more creatively, and more easily to deliver value to their business," said Jethi. "Our internal culture of openness and experimentation means we can identify ideas for doing things differently from teams that work day-to-day with customers, and test different ideas across our base, and [our virtual reality] project is a perfect example of that."
Virtual reality offers many exciting prospects to the travel industry and is empowering brands to offer unique and futuristic guest experiences at every stage of the customer journey - from before the booking has even been made.
As the technology becomes ever more sophisticated, we're likely to see innovative disrupters such as Navitaire add even more features to this offering and make the guest experience even more immersive and exciting.
Virtual reality technology is set to be a hot topic at Future Guest Experiences 2019, taking place this September at the Henderson, NV.
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