The firm has been briefed to produce high-quality 360° VR images and virtual tours to promote the culture of the Seychelles and tourism to the destination.
The MOU was signed by Sherin Francis, Principal Secretary Tourism Seychelles, and James South, founder of Gecko Digital, at the Digital Tourism Fair on September 28 – staged as part of the Tourism Festival of the Seychelles, the theme of which was ‘Bridging our Past and Future’. The event was attended by the Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, as well as the Principal Secretary, Director Generals, trade partners, and other distinguished guests.
As the preferred VR content provider for tourism in the Seychelles, Gecko Digital will deliver the highest quality HD 360° virtual reality photography and videography to the Department and make its services available to stakeholders and accommodation providers.
The partnership will see Gecko Digital create a dedicated “Seychelles in 360” section on the official tourism website of the Seychelles, Seychelles Travel, mapping and showcasing key destination highlights and areas of interest through cutting-edge panospheric 360 VR content. Users will be treated to a truly immersive experience and a new and innovative source of travel inspiration. The many ‘must visit’ locations that will be showcased include Côte D’Or; La Digue, Victoria, Praslin, Lazio Praslin, and Moyenne Island, which can be previewed in VR on the links here.
In addition, the collaborative commitment between Gecko Digital and Seychelles Tourism will include identifying hotels and resorts to support the continuous supply of high-quality VR content to be used to promote the Seychelles internationally.
To facilitate this and further demonstrate the depth of the collaboration, Gecko Digital aims to create a VR content photography training program for Seychelles Tourism personnel with a view to developing local expertise in this area, further supporting the local hotel and tourism industry.
James South, Founder of Gecko Digital, said of the partnership: “The advent of ‘Destination VR’ marks a paradigm shift in travel marketing. Our passion for immersive technologies and cutting-edge virtual reality aims to transport users to the destination, offering the ultimate travel inspiration and an unparalleled tool for planning their trip. Our stats, drawn from Google, tell us that 70 percent of people who view a virtual tour online click through, with 35 percent going on to make a direct booking.”
“By leveraging state-of-the-art VR advancements, tourists can take their first steps towards discovering the stunning destination of the Seychelles, from walking its beaches and visiting its historic sites and natural wonders to exploring its beautiful hotels.”
Director General Marketing Tourism Seychelles, Bernadette Willemin, added, “We are hugely excited about this partnership, which will leverage the very latest technology to help us bring the magic of the Seychelles to tourists around the world. It will offer them the opportunity to have an immersive taste of the diversity of our beautiful country, and to explore digitally all that the Seychelles Islands has to offer. We want to inspire them to visit and experience for themselves our pristine waters, exquisite flora and fauna, our culture, heritage, and everything that makes the Seychelles Islands a remarkable destination.”
The partnership follows the success of the recent Gecko Digital collaboration with Cape Town Tourism, forged to deliver new and innovative ways to inspire potential travelers to choose the destination.