Last updated: 01:30 PM ET, Fri July 29 2016

Visit Houston Is Using VR to Boost Tourism

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | July 29, 2016

Visit Houston Is Using VR to Boost Tourism

PHOTO: Houston skyline. (courtesy Thinkstock) 

Houston is trying to boost its tourism market and eliminate its stereotypes. Although it’s the fourth largest city in the country, Houston doesn’t get the same kind of tourism share as other big cities in the country. Visit Houston is trying to change that, and they are putting some new techniques to work in order to do so. 

“We still have to dispel beliefs that Houston is where the tumbleweeds and cattle are," Mike Waterman, president of Visit Houston, told AdWeek.

The tourism organization has launched a new virtual reality experience to give potential visitors an up-close look at the city before they get there. They used virtual reality technology created with YouVisit, which gives travelers a 360-degree look at Houston. 

"We're trying to provide new visitors with experiences that are memorable, and therefore marketable," Waterman said. "We sat down and thought about the 12 most interesting venues that would entice people to watch the content. The hope is that once people see the content, they'll be so excited that they'll book a ticket to Houston."

READ MORE: Norman Reedus Dreams Of Bikes and Brisket in Texas  

YouVisit has made a number of campaigns for companies such as Alaska and Vietnam and the virtual reality experience provides a lot of engagement with visitors spending approximately 10 minutes watching. 

"In the online world, 10 minutes is an eternity," Abi Mandelbaum, CEO of YouVisit said to AdWeek. "For travel destinations, when you're able to put that prospective traveler in a VR set and give them a glimpse of what it would be like to be there, their desire to experience it in real life jumps dramatically."

For more details on how virtual reality might provide Houston with a tourism bump, read the full article.

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