New Caledonia VR: a 360° promotion
To promote tourism by original means and for maximum impact, New Caledonia Tourism (NCTPS) is now using virtual reality with 360° videos of the destination. Cutting-edge technology, immersing tourists and overseas travel agents alike in the country’s iconic sites.
Sail on a pirogue in Upi Bay or skydive over Deva... it’s now possible, even when you’re overseas! This is the strength of «virtual reality», which, with the help of a headset or a simple smartphone, plunges the viewer into amazing, dynamic 360° settings.
To create these very first virtual reality (VR) videos in New Caledonia, NCTPS worked with the local video production company “Imag’in” together with “Start VR”, an Australian studio specialising in VR. It took them more than two weeks of filming throughout New Caledonia using a series of 8GB GO Pros (fitted on drones, rods, helicopters, kayaks, etc.), followed by several weeks of post-production in Australia in order to equip New Caledonia with a superb contemporary communication tool.
The result – around fifteen sequences have been assembled to highlight impressive local experiences – examples:
- Swim in the natural pool at Oro Bay, Isle of Pines;
- Fly over the Heart of Voh in a helicopter;© NCTPS
- Take part in a traditional Kanak Customary ceremoney in a Poindimié tribal village;
- Cycle across Mouli Bridge, Ouvéa;
- Stroll among the stalls of Nouméa’s Market;
- Kayak around the Broody Hen rock formation in Hienghène;
- Round up cattle with stockmen on a ranch in Bourail;
- Meet up with the iconic Cagou birds in the forest of Blue River Pronvincial Park;
- Cast a fishing net in Ouvéa’s lagoon …
These are already all fully available on the « New Caledonia VR » mobile app (translated into English,French and Japanese), with free download through App Store and Google Play, shared in smaller numbers on YouTube and will soon be available on social networks.
Through this VR, New Caledonia Tourism continues its digital-led strategy by reinforcing the destination’s online presence. A major campaign is underway, promoting it in all our target markets, in partnership with the industry and the other tourist offices (North Province Tourism and Destination Loyalty Islands):
- Australia/New Zealand: The VR was unveiled in a preview to English-speaking tourism professionals during the 25 – 28 July roadshows and from 18 August has been in the first Flight Center Interactive Shop (boutique interactive de Flight Center), Australia and New Zealand’s largest Tour Operator. For the general public, a major promotion awareness campaign « Experience New Caledonia in VR » will be run through to 2017: A video teaser, the “Mystery Suitcase” (« Valise mystère ») with the strong potential of going viral, followed by a campaign offering a chance to win a free trip.
- It will soon be available on the Qantas VR app, then to be relayed onto “TRIBE”, the influential Australian social media marketing platform.
- France/Italy: Presentation of the video to European tourism professionals at the « IFTM Top Résa » Tourism Show (20 – 23/09) and to online influencers during a Parisian evening “Le verre du voyageur” (23/09), organised by the blogger Bruno Maltor, whose video about New Caledonia was the talk of the show the previous year. Plus an original online competition, which will put internet users watching a 360° video into the shoes of travellers wanting to record and immortalise their journey by taking the perfect photo on the spot.
- Japan: Availability of the VR to the many Japanese tourisme professionals, media and general public attending the « JATA » Tourism Fair (22-25/09), plus a version of the online European competition. Plenty to entice overseas tourism professionals and tourists, where VR is still underused. This innovative promotion makes it possible not only to raise the profile of New Caledonia internationally but also to show a more contemporary and attractive image of its tourism sector.