Sep 2, 2010

Virtual ‘Try Before You Buy’

Google Earth, Google Earth Tours, tour, tours, nature, landscape, photography, Ship Rock, Anasazi Pleasure, Four Corners, 4 Corners

A search on Google Earth, Tour Leaders, photography, and nature provided insight into a breaking new adventure travel trend in online communication. TUI Adventure* has a Passport to Adventure brochure with interesting stats. In an analysis of current and future trends in UK adventure travel market, they show
• Unique visitors to The Adventure Companies’ websites have doubled every year since 2006, forecasted as 50 million unique visitors during 2010.
• The UK outbound tour operator market for adventure travel is currently over 200,000 passengers a year.
• Since 2006, average passenger expense has grown by 21% to £1198.
The next 3 year growth is predicted to increase by category:
• 145% for Special Interest Holiday,
• 181% (double) for Nature and Wildlife Holiday.
• For TUI, it’s a $300 million business projected to double in 3 years.
Typical savvy customers want:
• More than sun, sea, and sand experience.
• An authentic, ‘off beaten track’ skill they can’t find in guide books.
• Geographically and environmentally aware.
• Active (from walkers to full blown mountaineers).
Online networking before and after travel
• Social media networking is increasingly important with customer generated Facebook pages and Twitter campaigns.
• Our brands’ online communities have 30,000 active members regularly blogging, sharing photos, and discussing upcoming trips.
• Growing another way; naturally inquisitive, adapting to new social media world with ease. We talk in their world via Facebook, Twitter, live chat forums, and brand sites.
• Better information; online technology and development give customers a virtual ‘try before you buy’ experience with videos, trekking routes with Google Earth, and customer testimonials and photos.
Now, that is quite a impressive concept – particularly using online communication to enhance adventure travel…

In early 2010, Google Announced Google Earth Tours (GET).
Between 2006 to 2010, customers could only get static pictures - a mountain pass trail shown as a GPS trek. Our Google search had 48 hits.
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Google Earth 1 1 2 2 5 10? 10? 25? 60?
With GE Tours, online communication becomes an entirely new ball game…
Tours pique customer interest – they show where a trip is planned, provide satellite data of terrain, then create intimacy in a video with pictures and stories.
Tours can:
• Be created in Google Earth (free).
• Contain intimate photos showing unusual scenes.
• Be narrated to stimulate dramatic memories.
• Be shown online as a video 24x7x365 Planet wide!

What Is Our Response to Static Adventure Company Online Communication?
Get up to date by creating dynamic adventure travel videos; use advanced KML technology, provide photos, satellite views, and tell stories to really stimulate, then arouse a customer’s intense, innate desire to go there and see for themselves!
See a Tour for Yourself from the web…
Single tour example – Comb Ridge, Utah
Regional tour example – Photography Tour, Four Corners, USA
Brief How To – Creating Google Earth Tour

Update:  You must have Goggle Earth 5.2 or greater installed to run the 2 tour examples files...4 Sep, 2010