Mr Femi Lawson, Managing Director, Skyview Communications, Lagos says the company will start marketing the nation’s tourism sites to the international community in 2019, using virtual reality gadgets.
Lawson told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday that the company had completed all processes of research and ready to have virtual reality booths at different locations in Nigeria and beyond.
NAN reports that virtual reality is a simulation of existing tourist locations, composed of a sequence of videos, images which may involve some multimedia elements such as sound effects, music, narration and text.
Virtual tourism was pioneered by the outfit and is like tourism simulated on screen. It takes tourists to notable sites in Nigeria without being physically present, but the tourist will feel of the real thing.
All that is needed is for the tourist to put on what seems to be like the regular binoculars and he or she is instantly transported to either Lekki Conservation Centre.
There, the tourist will experience the longest walkthrough bridge suspended mid-air experience climbing to the summit of Olumo Rock without being to Abeokuta in Ogun.
Lawson said that the marketing, which commenced in Nigeria since 2016, had generated positive responses from Nigerians, adding that the exercise had improved domestic tourism.
He said: “This will further spur individuals to visit the sites, thereby improving on in-bound tourism and boosting the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We are ready to start having virtual reality outlets within Nigeria and beyond to market our tourism assets.
“Before now, we have been test-running it for free in Nigeria.
“We will give people the opportunity to see some of our heritage sites in Nigeria, which will automatically build their interest to want to come to the country.
“We have done our feasibility studies in the United Kingdom, Ghana, United States of America and Dubai, more so we are having our outlets there from 2019.’’
He noted that virtual reality had gained a lot of support from Nigerians and some parts of Africa since 2016 when it was introduced, adding that domestic tourism had also improved immensely due to the impact of the gadget.
Lawson said that lack of adequate marketing of the tourists sites, over the years, had accounted for the slow growth of the Nigerian tourism industry.
He said most people, locally and internationally, were ignorant of the nation’s tourism potential but the virtual reality gadgets would help bridge their knowledge gap about tourism destinations in the country.
“A lot of people do not know what exists in Nigeria, so I feel the best way to go about it is to give experience through the virtual reality gadgets using the 360 3D video technology.
“It gives the same experience as if the viewer is at the tourist site.
“We will have this at different locations in different countries so that they can see our tourism endowment and develop a yearning and curiosity to visit.’’
The managing director said that people would be given the opportunity to walk into any booth in Nigeria and other countries to see the assets of the nation.
Lawson said that after the launch of the outlets, there would be in collaboration with tour operators, travel agents, museums, security operators, hotels, transport companies, destination marketers among others.
He said that this was for seamless operation of the virtual reality outlets.