As part of Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ virtual reality (VR) experience, guests now have an immersive 360 degree look into all of the company’s North American hotels. Through the Best Western Virtual Reality Experience (BWVRE), guests are now able to view a virtual reality tour of nearly 2,000 properties. Best Western is the first major company of its size and scale to utilize this cutting-edge technology in this way, setting a new industry standard for how virtual reality can be used to enhance the consumer journey.
The VR tours offer a guided 3D video of the hotels including narration and music, creating an engaging story-telling experience. Each video ranges in length from 50 seconds to 2 minutes. Guests can access the videos from Best Western’s YouTube channel – bestwesternTV.
“Before even stepping foot on the property, guests will be able to view guest rooms, lobbies, and amenities, as if they were there in person,” said Dorothy Dowling, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “Best Western is a first-mover in this effort, and we know our guests and our hotels will benefit from this game-changing technology.”
For the past three years, Best Western has worked in partnership with Google Street View to gather 1.7 million photos of its nearly 2,000 North American hotels, paving the way for the BWVRE. BWVRE videos were developed in 8K resolution, the current highest ultra-high definition video available, far beyond what is available in most consumers’ homes today. As technology infrastructure improves, BWVRE provides the best quality, sharpest images available.
BWVRE will be available on all platforms that are supported by HTML5, such as Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube and Facebook. This method allows the broadest distribution for these video assets and the ability for Best Western to continue to enhance the experience over time.
The launch of BWVRE comes during Best Western’s transformative brand refresh, an effort highlighting the hotel company’s decade of success. During the past two years, Best Western hotel owners have invested $2 billion in property improvements and renovations across North America. In addition, Best Western has grown its portfolio from one to seven hotel brands.