News

Destination BC Creates The Wild Within VR Experience

Vancouver, British Columbia – Destination BC has just launched The Wild Within VR Experience, using Oculus Rift technology, making it the first destination marketing organization in North America to use virtual reality to promote the destination.  The Wild Within VR Experience is an interactive, three-dimensional video that allows travellers to experience British Columbia in a truly immersive way, as if they were actually there.

Destination BC will be showcasing The Wild Within VR Experience during a series of events in December and January.  A preview of this virtual experience will be available via a behind the scenes “making of” video, posted on Destination BC’s YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/hellobc.

Throughout 2015, Destination BC will be featuring The Wild Within VR Experience at travel trade and media marketplaces globally, giving key travel influencers and travellers the opportunity to experience British Columbia in a new way.  As headsets become readily available in 2015, The Wild Within VR Experience will be available online through Destination BC’s website, HelloBC.com, and at select consumer events.

The creation of the video follows the launch of Destination BC’s new Corporate Strategy on November 4, 2014, which is focused on strengthening the key drivers behind growing BC’s tourism industry and revenues.

Tourism has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.  BC’s tourism industry generates $13.9 billion in revenue and is BC’s third largest employer, supporting over 132,000 jobs.

Quotes:

Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination BC:

“We think virtual reality is a great fit for tourism marketing.  It lets our travel trade and media partners experience our destination in a new and unique way that has not been possible before.  And, as the headsets become more widely available to consumers, virtual reality gives them a ‘360’ experience – immersing them in the extraordinary travel opportunities that British Columbia offers, from raw wilderness to refined cities.”

Contact:
Destination British Columbia Media Relations
Mika.ryan@destinationbc.ca (604) 862-6595

 

  • The Wild Within VR Experience video was filmed in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, located along the central Pacific coast, over the course of five days in September 2014.
     
  • The majority of the locations were accessed via a commercial whale watching boat based out of Port McNeill on the northern tip of Vancouver Island.  Alpine footage was accessed by helicopter.  The lodge at the end of the journey is the world-renowned Nimmo Bay Resort.
  • All footage was captured via a series of seven HD GoPro cameras fixed to a spherical rig that was custom made using a 3-D printer. The rig could be mounted onto either a hexacopter drone, or backpack, and incorporated a special gimbal used to stabilize the cameras, allowing the crew to capture steady shots when flying and travelling over rough terrain.
  • The film crew included two local wildlife experts and a certified guide to help navigate the rugged terrain.
     
  • Several electronics companies are set to release virtual reality headsets in 2015, including Oculus VR, Samsung, and Sony.  Headsets are expected to be widely available to consumers by Spring 2015.
  • The Wild Within VR Experience video was developed for the Oculus Rift headset, with the option to transfer the video into other technologies as they become available. 
  • It is anticipated that virtual reality video will become an important part of tourism marketing, allowing tourism marketing organizations to bring tourism experiences to life in a way no other marketing tools can, creating an immersive experience that leads to destination visitation.
  • Destination BC has committed to using new technologies as part of its Corporate Strategy launched on November 4, 2014, together with the launch of the revitalize destination brand, supporting the “Creating a Magnetic Brand” pillar.
  • Destination BC’s The Wild Within VR Experience will be experienced initially by travel influencers like Travel Media and Travel Trade (tour operators and travel agents) and will then be extended to travellers online (via download at HelloBC.com) and through select consumer events in 2015.
  • The Wild Within VR Experience was produced by Destination BC, with assistance from its Agency of Record, DARE Vancouver.