It’s common knowledge that the pandemic has all but decimated the leisure travel industry. As we roll out of the pandemic in some countries, consumers are itching to travel once again. So where will they spend their money? Things like health, vaccinations and other travel regulations will definitely be factors but the companies who adapted well during the pandemic to keep customers engaged, may be the big winners. 
 
By showing all the cool things via video streaming travelers can do when they really travel such as amazing castle tours, fabulous restaurants, exciting shopping, and engaging events, Viking.TV may be the new business model for live and virtual travel video streaming that stimulates the imagination and “wets the appetite” for the traveler to go travel live sooner and return more often.   
 
Providing virtual video streaming from any resort even a simple DIY live and on-demand network seems to be the new must-have to compete for travel dollars even for the smallest bed-n-breakfast, motel to the largest hotel, resort and amusement park, wineries, distilleries, breweries, farm-to-table farms, state parks, train and river rides, spa, healing, health and fitness, venues, cooking classes, fashion shows, educational and learning summer degree programs for all ages, kids camps, cruise ships, sporting events, private camping tours and grounds, space and lunar events, art, environmental expeditions, cultural and corporate museums, theatre, music festivals, dance events, and literally everything else where people come to visit, stay, enjoy, learn and live. 
Look no further than Viking.TV to understand the new world of virtual travel, resorts and more.  The idea is simply to move the destination virtually rather than the traveler having to travel anywhere farther than their couch.    The virtual traveler can visit dozens of destinations or more in a day from their couch, porch or even their own mountaintop.   
Marco Polo’s travels, Columbus to the new world, the California Gold Rush and many other historical and even modern events were spread by rumor which many people believed enough to travel.  Today, the pandemic has flipped travel in a negative way.  Travelers need to know not just where they are going but also whether it is safe to go there.  Health safety will be as important to many as the mini-bar, cable TV or a swimming pool for the kids.  Yet it can be much more than that as Viking.TV is doing. They are showing you via live and on demand video all the castles, fabulous restaurants, unique shopping, and other cultural experiences you will have when you go.  
This concept is applicable to any resort, amusement park, state park, museum, theatre (Boulder has one of the best Shakespeare Festivals but only in the summer why not year-round) horse riding stable, winery and so many more.  Video streaming, whether ondemand recordings or better yet live lectures, demonstrations, tours, cooking classes and an all-day nature walk and hike up a great mountain or down a river brings to life and interested people, the great things they will enjoy when they do visit these places.  Video streaming does so much more than just show the resort, it allows multiple views, channels, speakers and even the visitors themselves.  People want to know not just from the provider but also how the visitors feel about their visit.  This is particularly true of places where products are sold.  Other customers want to know what other shoppers or “tasters” said about the wine, beer, cheese, food and felt and thought about the experience.   
 
Resort Gamification, Rewards and Loyalty Programs 
 
Along with previous visitors’ prospective new travels can see, hear, and well, almost taste the experiences of others.  The new virtual resort can also expand their offerings into games, sports, and other interactive events as well.  The gamification of events will bring new ways virtual and where possible onsite live visitors can experience together such as a climbing challenge to the mountain top nearby, going to hear a concert “on the rocks,” explore the scientific aspects of the surrounding nature, score points for tracking cool places along a river route, compete in sporting events, provide interactive learning experiences for others and much more.  Gamers can score points, win prizes for fitness, earn loyalty and rewards points for products and future travel.  Games and much more bring the visitor and the resort closer together and hopefully if done well provide the means for a long-term visitor and resort experience.  A long time ago I met an executive from the largest “land” in the world at a broadband content conference.  He mentioned that people only come to their places on average every four years.  He was looking into ways to offer more places like cruise ships and other resorts to shorten that time when the visitor returned which would mean billions more revenue.  Today, any resort, even a small bed-n-breakfast with only a few rooms, can with video streaming highlight their place but also the places and spaces that visitors can see and do when they come and stay.   
 
Visitor centers and kiosks need to evolve from a wall full of paper bookmark cards to live and on-demand video streaming production centers as technology has evolved to the point with video production systems for a few hundred dollars.
A recent research analysis on city visitor centers found that the majority of air travelers never used visitor centers.  Those via vehicles used them increasingly less frequently relying upon lodging staff especially where there is a concierge or lobby wall board.  Moreover, amusement centers, museums and others increasingly used social media search optimization.  The new visitor center adds video streaming to show every place that wants and needs people to come.  Virtual visitor centers can offer multiple simultaneous live video channels, ondemand videos, newsfeeds, video libraries and more to let visitors see what they are about and all the places and spaces surrounding them as well.   
 
There are also amazing business opportunities by integrating video streaming with complete merchandising transaction networks. Thousands of relevant products can be easily added including professional branding expertise that brings any resort vast revenue opportunities.
Channel partners can help the entire travel industry get up to speed with the technology and solutions to integrate virtual experiences into their strategy.
 
If you would like help in building your own travel, resort, museum, theatre, music venue, winery, horse stable, park, concert venue or eatery you are welcome to contact me at [email protected] 
 
Source: Thomas B. Cross