Moab, UT, Mar. 31, 2016– Moab Adventure Center conveniently located on the main drag in downtown Moab, UT, is in the business of providing advice, equipment and guided adventure experiences to visitors who come to this wild corner of Utah.
Now sojourners can experience (albeit virtually) how it feels to flightsee in an airplane high above Desolation Canyon, or splash through rolling rapids on the Colorado River rapids or explore Moab’s rugged back country on a Hummer safari.
Brand-new to the travel industry, an emerging technology called virtual reality (VR) incorporates 360º interactive video and photos to simulate these and other iconic Moab adventure experiences.
Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/) and its sister company, Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/), are pioneering VR technology to introduce travelers to VR’s powers of persuasion. By so doing, these adventure specialists are among the very first in the international travel industry to add VR technology to their marketing toolbox.
“Here’s the case of an adventure vacation company using VR to entice and educate visitors. More in the mainstream of travel, Marriott International uses VR to help guests explore cities where their hotels are located. We’re all at the cusp of understanding where this is going,” said Brandon Lake, Chief Marketing Officer of Western River Expeditions.
At Moab Adventure Center guests are now able to donaSamsung Gear VR Headset (Oculus software - http://www.samsung.com/us/explore/gear-vr/) and transport themselves to where they think they might like to be: on a 4x4 Hummer safari, rafting on the Green or Colorado rivers or hiking at sunrise through Arches National Park. Lake said his company purchased a dedicated cell phone and viewer for demonstration purposes (VR videos currently need a smartphone to view in combination with a special headset for maximum enjoyment). Now in addition to thumbing through brochures or enjoying photos and video via a website, visitors are exploring their Moab Adventure Center options in virtual reality.
“You put the headset on and you actually have the sensation that you’re in the middle of the adventure. Your entire vision is taken over, looking up, down, right and left, and that’s all you see and hear,” said Lake. “Consumer demand for this kind of ‘see it before you do it’ technology isset to explode in 2016.”
Lake and his team commissioned TrustedPhoto.com http://trustedphoto.com/about/ and 360 Labs to produce four virtual reality shows that can now be viewed at the center and are being imbedded on the newly enhanced http://www.westernriver.com/ website. The shows feature rafting in the Grand Canyon, Cataract Canyon and Desolation Canyon as well as a Hummer safari outside of Moab. The embedded 360º tours keep visitors engaged and inspired. For example, virtual visitors to the Grand Canyon as shown on Western River’s website view the tour for an average 4 minutes and 19 secondsas they move their cursoraround to look upstream and down, up at the cliffs, or inside the boat. Regardless of the device used, for maximum impact, viewers are advised to watch the video in its highest resolution and in full screen mode.
A selection of 360 videos can also be viewed online at the Western River Expeditions website:
360º videos can also be found on all of the most popular VR video distribution networks: YouTube, VRideo, Ascape and Littlstar (one of the more popular networks). This viewing platform works great on nearly all devices and is currently a featured app in the Oculus VR environment.
After a decade of development, planning and collaboration, the groundbreaking 360º interactive video of a Western River Expeditions J-Rig adventure through the Grand Canyon was the video that pioneered this technology for the adventure travel industry.
Western River Expeditions has guided more guests through the famous gorge over the last 54 years than any other outfitter - and the word has gotten out.
“It’s an absolutely inspiring adventure,” added Lake. “Of course the new video technology is awesome, but nothing will ever compare to the real experience of running the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.”
Adventurers may claim one of the few remaining spots for 2016 or book the adventure now for the 2017 season (April-September). For availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: http://www.westernriver.com/.
About Western River Expeditions
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
About Moab Adventure Center
Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/). The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main Street, Moab, Utah 84532. For information and reservations please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163 or send an email from http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/contact/. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear and clothing as well as souvenirs.
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