10 Tips for effective use of virtual reality in tourism

1. Traveling are experiences and emotions.

Virtual reality puts tourists in the skin of a traveler who discovers the world and experience the chosen destination, meet the inhabitants and the possibilities of the place, so the potential tourist has a clearer and more real vision of the trip.

We must understand the strength and power of this medium and play with it because virtual reality allows us to experience the impossible. Emotions help people make decisions, virtual reality (VR) plays an important role in the decision-making process, before deciding what travel to do, we can use VR to assess the destination.

The desire to travel to a place is greater after travelling through virtual reality, VR experiences arouse the passion for travel when the viewer imagines himself there.

Virtual reality is empathy and immersion. While cinema and traditional video tell you a story, VR puts you inside the story. It's the end of "once upon a time...", now the story happens because you are there.

2. Storytelling in VR

“Content is the king”. As creators of VR content, we must think that we are using a set of narrative tools very different to those we have used in these past 100 years. VR allows us to connect with things and experiment with them in a way far deeper and more visceral than any other means.

The ability to build a new type of stories and adventures is incorporated in VR technology. Similar to the "choose your own adventure" books model, the immersive narrative is based on the choice. VR allows the viewer to explore the scene without interference or guides.

Designing "try-before-you-buy" immersive experiences make the planning and purchase of the trip more fun and stimulating. Firsthand experiences with characters that speak to us and guide us in the spaces arouses the interest of the potential customer and encourages their involvement.

One of the most important issues in the creation of 360 videos, therefore, is the “identity” of the user. From the first time the user tests VR glasses, he is transported to a new place where the main questions are “why am I here?" and "Who am I?”. The producer must take into account the “presence” of the user from the start to create unforgettable experiences. Now we are the spectator and the narrator, we are part of the story.

We must not use the conventional film techniques. VR is not just putting the camera in the center, we must think of actions that take place around the camera, there should be a main element, a focus to follow in the story.

3. 2D videos VS Flatland 360 videos VS Virtual world

Virtual reality and 360º videos can help us establish more solid commitments with our customers. Capturing ideas using virtual reality or immersive 360° video helps us to present a more honest proposal, showing a convincing and realistic perspective of the unique experiences that we can offer. The realism and sense of presence are the main advantages of virtual reality compared to conventional production.

Photos and traditional 2D videos are often misleading, offer us only a small part of the hotel or destination in question. There is nothing worse for a tourist than realizing, once arrived at the destination, that money was wrong spent!

One of the most notable benefits of storytelling in VR, is that it is an organic medium, the viewer is able to explore all angles without interference, the goal is for the client to move freely through the virtual space with the least intervention possible in the production. In this way, the reality is presented without deception, authentic, without the intervention of a team dedicated to beautify or to hide.

Thomas Cook: 360 Videos aboard the newly refurbished A330 aircraft. The user can experience what it feels like to fly with this airline being virtually run by pilots and crew who actually works for the company, as well as discovering the destination to which to travel through small shorts.


4. Strategies for the creation of VR experiences

The success of virtual reality in tourism depends largely on the excellence of the content. To avoid the boredom of the public we must work creative ideas with a virtual reality specialized team with knowledge of market.

Before creating a VR experience, it is necessary to think what is the advantage of creating VR content of our destination versus normal 2D content. We must search for stories, points of view and situations that take advantage of the potential of immersive virtual reality, because to simply showing the spaces without any story behind works no longer.

A good VR experience requires investment in time and money. If the destination is not ready for this investment, it would be better to save that money and not to produce low quality content.

It is necessary to carry out a good production and design of the experience, to write a script, hire actors, decide which type of camera and photography will be used, to design graphics, sound production, music... The how and where the VR experience will be seen is one of the issues that will shape the rest of the strategy.

5. Creating process / workflow

Once we have the story we want to tell, we need to calculate a budget adjusted to the idea, to do a technical approach and a realistic planning, to decide what camera systems to use, what postproduction software we're going to work with and how will be the schedule of the experience and in what distribution platforms we are going to bring out the publication (delivery)...


1- idea + budget

2- technical approach experience

3- pre-production

4- production and filming

5- post-production, stitching, editing, VFX

6- delivery / distribution



6. Hardware and software for the production

It is a vital decision for the project, to carry out the production of a 360° video with a human and technical team with experience and technical guarantees.

There is not just one camera capable of shooting it all, it is preferable to use the camera which works best for the scene.

There are a wide variety of professional camera equipment and post-production software for 360 video. The choice of the right camera equipment will allow us to shoot images of great quality, sharpness, color... In 360-3D getting a greater sense of immersion with the image depth.

In addition to the video we must think about the sound, the techniques of recording and mixing binaural 360 sound give us the ability to direct the viewer's attention through his ears.

how we work 2 IMG-20170927-WA0004

7- We should treat the user with caution

We must think about the user and take care of it, looking for the most satisfactory experiences to do so. It is very important to avoid filming or situations that do not work well in VR. In VR the public expects that his body is there because his mind is there.

Shooting with sudden camera movements, violent changes of space and place, vibrations, twists... can cause discomfort in the user and be counterproductive to the promotion of the destination. In VR if we move the camera, what we are doing is to move the user, we have to think if we'd like to feel that movement.

We must take into account the duration of the video and the editing tempo so the viewer does not get confused and lose parts of the main message. We must offset between the displayed images and verbal and written information.

Screenshot 2018-01-12 to the 12.20.05

8- Delivery

It is key to the success of the project, to plan the strategy of distribution (delivery) according to where and how it's going to be seen, since the ideal use of VR is with virtual reality glasses (headset) of quality.

There are different platforms for the distribution of VR and 360 video and each of them has its pros and cons. The distribution may be via streaming or download.

Platforms and Socialmedia as Youtube, Facebook or Vimeo allow the mass distribution of 360 video via streaming and viewing 360 videos, besides viralization of content. These platforms manage the distribution with no cost in exchange for the integration of advertising before or during the video and decide what content our video is subsequently bound.

Screenshot 2018-02-07 to the 14.53.57



Android or IOS device with gyroscope and through the Youtube, Facebook or Vimeo apps, we can enjoy 360 videos by inserting our mobile phone into cardboard glasses. We can also develop 360 video Apps allowing us to watch videos via streaming or download mode to get more quality in the reproduction.


Here you can download our App "Iralta VR", an example of VR App with videos 360 and 360-3D to enjoy with IOS and Android devices:
Iralta VR App

To enjoy an experience with better image quality and getting the most out of interactivity that programming and the distribution of VR allows, it is necessary to use higher performance devices such as Oculus, Gear VR, Daydream, HTC Vive, PlayStation. These devices can use 360 video players, Apps such as Youtube VR, or download Apps created ad hoc to be enjoyed on these devices. These Premium VR platforms are the best choice for quality and allow a greater sense of immersion because we can move in the virtual space and interact with the objects through motion sensors.

Screenshot 2018-01-15 to the 9.55.02

Screenshot 2018-01-15 to the 9.55.08

9- programming

VR experiences can be distributed without extra programming, just like 360 videos for Socialmedia like Facebook or Youtube. But we can enrich the experience by adding layers of programming that add interactivity and allow us to make decisions in the narrative line of the experience, link to central booking, see more extra content, photos, etc...

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO 360°. An App that combines fiction and documentary in format of an interactive guide. Moving your device, by clicking on the interactive buttons or by turning your VR device, you can choose what to visit and with whom.

Road-360Production-of-video-360-04 Produccion-de-video-360-camino360-03 Produccion-de-video-360-camino360-31


10- return on investment – ROI

To launch a VR project still means “playing with new things”an important reason is to jump on the bandwagon to gain experience in this new medium that has come to stay. Forbes predicts that 1 per cent of the world's population will own headphones for 2020 and that this number will increase over the years. What can be the possible implications of the diffusion of these devices in the supply chain of the hotel?

VR is not an end in itself but a channel more within the strategy of communication and marketing of tourist destinations. At the moment, the Achilles heel appears to be content, in the majority of cases, 360° videos are produced without narrative and we are very far from the “actual content of immersive virtual reality”.

Interactivity is still a problem, and in many cases experiences are mainly at the level of information, without the level of transaction.

We're still in the early stages of virtual reality and many obstacles must be overcome! However, we can see an indirect ROI.

VR contents have the potential to be used in online sales and help increase sales. VR offers a better experience to the user compared to the "static" content. The user can move inside the room of a hotel before booking it. Despite the advantages of VR, marketing and tourism booking are still not using it as they should.

The VR can be deployed in a wide range of marketing activities and business such as promotion, market research, online sales, customer service, brand management and public relations. Its impact exceeds that of traditional media and mobile phones by the ability of VR to provide a more direct, powerful and emotional experience.

VR is a powerful and emotional tool and allows a total immersion in the content and the message since it requires that the user put VR glasses that insulate the user from external distractions.



Mapi was a challenge from the start. How to use similar technology as Avatar, Mandalorian or Fortnite to produce live TV? Augmented Reality is used by many broadcasters to add graphic content or data, but this is the first time a hybrid 3D character acts in real time for multi cameras.

Read more


In the last months we have been involved on this project we have met thousands of people from all over the world that are fighting against the climatic chance. The immersive experience VR “Low carbone agriculture in Brazil” is based on the Rural Sustentável project and it has been developed together with the Inter-American Development Bank.

Read more


LOS40VR is a virtual reality App created to surprise fans of bands and lovers of music and virtual reality. For the first time viewers will be near their favorite musicians and will live exciting immersive experiences next to them.

Read more


In March, there have been two major events in Brazil and Argentina in which virtual reality has been protagonist, the World Water Forum and Annual of the assemblies of the IDB Governors meeting and the IIC.

The experiences of virtual reality that we have developed in the past two years along with the IDB they have had their space and it has been a success among the audience.

Read more

The new Iralta VR App

Iralta publishes its new application that allows viewing 360° videos from iOs and Android mobile devices.

Read more


FITUR, the tourism fair has smashed records in its 38th edition. This year 2018, more than 140,000 accredited and more than 10,000 companies from around the world have participated in the event par excellence of tourism in Spain.

Read more

Cervantes VR in classrooms

Now that classes are empty and the students and teachers enjoy their holiday, we'd like to remember the day of virtual reality that we live with the students of the CEIP "Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo" in Madrid last week of course.

Read more


A few months ago, an interesting assignment came. On the occasion of the centenary of Madrid's Plaza Mayor, Photoespaña sought to produce, with the patronage of Samsung, a VR piece for this year's festival.


Read more

Chasing the Northern Lights VR – Lofoten Island Norway 360º

Travel to the of the Arctic circle in winter is a unique experience.

The unpredictable and ever-changing climate produces a wide variety of lighting conditions. It is the best time of year to photograph its incredible mountains and frozen lakes. But mostly it's the best time to catch the capricious and elusive Aurora Borealis.

Read more

Presentation Cervantes VR

Did you miss the presentation of VR Cervantes?

Do not worry…. Here are a summary of the day

Read more