Thursday, September 22, 2022

By Rebecca Black, PA

A Co Down town has launched a virtual tour which it has described as a “game-changing” marketing and tourism initiative.

Holywood has become the first town in the North to launch a 360-degree virtual reality tour.

It has been introduced by the Holywood Chamber of Commerce and created by local business JohnsonWestco using both drone technology and 360-degree VR photography.

 

The digital tour begins with a 360-degree bird’s eye view of Holywood, allowing the user to move between 11 drones to view the entire town as if in the sky.

It also allows full zoom-in access with an option to enter the shops in a first-hand immersive experience, virtually placing them in the picture, allowing exploration of the location.

Holywood Chamber of Commerce said they feel the project will help put them on the map both locally and internationally.

Leslie Waite, joint president of Holywood Chamber of Commerce and owner of Hannah’s Florist, said he is excited about the new technology to help “shout about just how amazing Holywood is to visit, shop and do business in”.

“The drone footage and photography are second to none and really bring our town to life, showing everything from the beautiful seafront, historical points of interest, to public transport links, parking, to the 70 plus independent shops spanning everything from ladies’ clothing boutiques, to silversmiths, award-winning restaurants and the many delicious coffee shops and delicatessens,” he said.

Coronavirus – Mon Jun 1, 2020
People enjoy the warm weather at Seapark beach in Holywood, Co Down. Photo: David Young/PA

David Johnson, co-owner of JohnsonWestCo added: “The technology will not only help tourism but it will also help boost sales and footfall as it allows potential visitors to get a glimpse of what’s on offer before they embark on a trip.

“It also allows businesses to link their own e-commerce websites to the tour, boosting sales internationally.”

The Holywood Virtual Tour is accessible via smartphone, tablet, computer or VR headset.

Visit holywoodchamber.co.uk for further details on the Holywood Virtual Tour

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