Tourism goes virtual

Article image - Tourism goes virtual Councillor Moar, Mayor McPhee, Economic Development and Tourism Project Officer Nathan Keighran, Software Developer Steve Dyer, Councillor Jeffery, Councillor Young and Councillor Norton.

A new virtual reality touring experience will give visitors a taste of what Victoria’s Swan Hill region has to offer.

Discover More in the Swan Hill Region uses the latest in digital technology to highlight the region’s landscape, unique history and key tourist attractions.

Videos, photospheres, photos and maps combine in a virtual reality experience that shows off the Swan Hill riverfront, and the Lake Boga, Woorinen, Nyah District and Robinvale regions. It is a free tool that can be accessed on all mobile, tablet and desktop devices through the Visit Swan Hill website.

Swan Hill Rural City Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Project Officer Nathan Keighran said Discover More would encourage tourists to visit attractions and historic sites right across the municipality.

“This will never take the place of the real thing, but will give potential visitors or those just arriving in the area a chance to see what’s on offer.

“For example, you can place yourself in the middle of Nyah West’s main street and visualise what the streetscape looked like 100 years ago,” Mr Keighran said.

“Or you can scroll around the Swan Hill Region Information Centre and play interactive videos that link to current events or even explore accommodation options.”

The ‘where to mapping’ tool provides the user with easy to follow directions to find each featured location, using the latest digital mapping devices.

“There is scope to enhance Discover More into a complete virtual reality experience using VR goggles, which we expect will become more prevalent in the future as technology continues to advance,” Mr Keighran said.

He said one of the real advantages for local tourism providers was the program’s ability to adapt. It can easily be updated with new videos, photos and information.

“New videos, photos and information can be uploaded, ensuring tours and destinations are relevant at all times, and providing scope to include seasonal attractions like farm gate tours during warmer months.”

You can see Discover More at visitswanhill.vic.gov.au. You can also visit the information centre to test out Discover More using VR glasses or the designated iPad. Hard copies of all the maps in Discover More are also available at the Swan Hill Region Information Centre free of charge.

Discover More is a project of Council and Swan Hill Incorporated, with creative work by Steve Dyer and in partnership with community organisations.