Last updated: 02:15 PM ET, Thu August 13 2015

Luxury Resort in Dubai Uses Virtual Reality to Improve Guest Experience

Travel Technology | Ryan Rudnansky | August 12, 2015

Luxury Resort in Dubai Uses Virtual Reality to Improve Guest Experience

Photo courtesy of Atlantis, The Palm

One luxury resort in Dubai is using virtual reality and other advanced technology to improve the guest experience and market itself.

Atlantis, The Palm—a five-star, 113-acre property on its own island—uses virtual reality technology to give travelers a first-person view of the resort, whether they reside nearby or in another corner of the world.

TravelPulse was lucky enough to try on the headgear in Los Angeles recently. You start out walking into the hotel and being greeted by staff. From there you can explore the vastness of the resort. A zipline ride across the property gives you an idea of the breadth of the place.

Swim with the fish. Walk into the water and watch as dolphins do tricks right in front of you as part of Atlantis’ Dolphin Bay experience. You can even shoot down the resort’s giant waterslide, which just so happens to be the largest in the world. All the while, you can look up and down and side to side to gaze at what’s surrounding you. High-quality earphones fully complement the immersive experience.

For a place like Atlantis, The Palm, which includes a variety of attractions, its own waterpark, three beaches, an aquarium that holds 65,000 marine animals, 27 treatment rooms, and 23 restaurants, bars and lounges, it was only natural to use technology like virtual reality to give a more complete view of the resort for those who haven’t experienced it firsthand.

“Atlantis, The Palm is more than just a hotel; it is a destination that offers a myriad of activities for our guests,” said Liam Findley, vice president of marketing for Atlantis, The Palm. “Virtual reality is a medium that allows us to do justice to our products by enabling a depth of experience for visitors who haven’t experienced the resort in person, but also conveys just a little of the fun and excitement that is Atlantis.”

Atlantis has also tapped into another popular form of technology across variety of industries right now: beacon technology. That is, placing electronic beacons throughout the property that interact with guests as they cross particular points.

Findley said Atlantis thought the technology could be used to help guests better explore the resort’s massive Lost Chambers Aquarium.

“To support our guests’ experience within the Lost Chambers Aquarium, we developed a fun and educational mobile explorer game that utilizes iBeacon technology (beacon technology developed by Apple) to communicate with guests based on their location within the aquarium,” Findley said. “The Lost Chambers Aquarium is a fundamental pillar of the Atlantis experience and is incredibly rich and detailed. The iBeacon technology integrated with a mobile app helps us to highlight hidden gems throughout the aquarium that may be overlooked.”

“Technology is very important to the travel industry and is becoming increasingly so,” he added. “Technology is an enabler that is bringing our guests closer, and with the development of high speed networks, enriched content and applications such as iBeacons and virtual reality, we can connect with distant guests as if they were already here. The use of advanced technology makes our guests’ journey begin before they step foot on the property, helping to create an even more unforgettable Atlantis, The Palm experience.”

But how important will technology like virtual reality be for the travel industry moving forward? Is this just a fad or is it the start of something more?

Findley seems to think the latter.

“This is only the beginning for the travel industry as this technology becomes more mature and available to more people,” Findley said. “In the future, I predict we will see virtual reality as being a common tool of resorts and hotels and guests reviewing virtual reality experiences when making decisions about where they want to stay. Remaining innovative and setting trends, we are excited to be among the first in the marketplace to really use this exciting platform.”


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