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Lynette Bergin Tourism Award

A final word

 

In Conclusion

In conclusion, I firmly believe that Virtual Reality or immersive technologies are most definitely going to be apart of how we as people consume, learn and communicate moving into the future. VR & 360 video as an evolution of consumable content presents unique opportunities in the type of content that can be produced and distributed. 

 

For tourism and our industry, the most exciting thing apart from the existing applications is the ability to dive into a disruption at the ground level and help dictate the path in which it will move forward. Rare is the chance to jump on something at an early adopter stage, especially as a whole industry. The numerous ways in which Virtual Reality can be applied is enticing, meaning there are various ways in which operators can take their first steps into applying the technology to their business, whether it is producing their own content or simply sharing others. Distributing through social channels and head mounted displays opens multiple channels in which to push out content and allows it to be done at a low cost.

 

One takeaway from the majority of the stakeholders I spoke to is the encouraging thoughts on how important VR could be used as a tool for the tourism industry. The principles of VR, escaping one's reality and transporting to another experience, aligns very closely to that of tourism and by all appearances makes it an easy fit for our industry.  Its newness as an accessible technology almost gives us carte blanche to experiment like crazy. While there are some techniques to adhere to, the VR world is your oyster. The ability to get really creative and crazy is evident as there are no huge expectations as to what VR can be or do.

 

One of my objectives was to highlight the accessibility of VR to not only larger organisations but smaller tourism operators so they could dive in with confidence, low risk and minimal investment to this exciting technological disruption. I was excited to find that this was very achievable and I hope I have been able to articulate that no matter which step you take to add this tool to your toolkit, that you can do so with confidence.

 

I presented my findings in the form of this website for a couple of reasons. I wanted it to be accessible, interactive and reflective of the kind of topics that were discussed. More importantly, I was keen to add a blog to the site as this will allow me to continue to diarise my journey in this space, share any more interesting insights I discover and create a space that the industry can be invested in. (Blog Coming Soon)

 

 

Thank You

Completing this project was an incredible, amazing and life changing experience. Never did i think that i was capable of tackling something like this and took me completely out of my comfort zone.

 

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and can't thank VTIC and the entire team behind the Lynette Bergin Fellowship enough. The support and encouragement from all involved has been overwhelming and has filled me with confidence throughout the whole process. 

 

A big thank you must go to everyone who helped contribute to this project by providing the expertise, insights and tips. Their contributions are valuable assets that will hopefully help anyone who has read this presentation and can take away some insights and tools to apply to their business. Key stakeholders involved;

 

- Michael Rucker, CEO - Omnivirt

- David Nelson, Creative Director - MxR Lab, USC Institute for Creative Technologies

- Jeremy Bailenson, Thomas More Storke Professor of Communication - Stanford Uni

- Dr Brent D. Moyle, Associate Professor of Tourism - University of the Sunshine Coast

- Courtney Barry, Global Manager, Campaigns - Tourism Australia

- Elisa Jakymin, Research Project Coordinator - Tourism Australia

- Michael Mortimer, Virtual Reality R&D - CADET VR Lab Deakin Geelong

- Ben Horan, Associate Head Of School, Research - CADET VR Lab Deakin Geelong

- Andrew Woodberry, Head of Sales & Marketing - Instavr

- Matt Klaiber, Head of Business Development - Rapidvr
- Dave Klaiber, Founder and lead VR Creative Director - Rapidvr
- Dan White, Head of Technology - Rapidvr

- Bruno Schatz, Sales Representative - Exit Reality VR

- Daisy Berns, General Manger - Exit Reality VR

- Valeriy Kondruk, CEO - Ascape VR

- Jess Bonner, Senior Product Manager, Spherical Cameras - GoPro

- Kala Peterson, Communications Manager - Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

- Michael Goldsmith, VP of Marketing - Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

- Robert Watts, Managing Partner - Lightsail VR

- Alexi Chisler, Supervisor, Exhibitions - Natural History Museum LA

- Liam Mooney, Supervisor, Lighting & Media - Natural History Museum LA

- Jennifer Greenebaum, Manager, Group Sales and Tourism - Natural History Museum LA

- Daniel Stewart, Director, Guest Experience - Natural History Museum LA

- Kristina Lockaby, Senior Manager, Exhibitions - Natural History Museum LA

- Davina Wolter, Senior Manager, Design - Natural History Museum LA

- Darren K. Green, Senior Vice President of Sales - Discover Los Angeles

- Martin Brown, Head of Alliances & Partner Solutions - Samsung

- Kylie Mason, Category Manager – Accessories and Wearables - Samsung

The support I received from my place of work, Searoad Ferries, was astounding. In particular Matt Mc Donald, Searoad Ferries CEO, who encouraged me to apply for the award. The faith you showed in me to even consider I should apply was incredibly humbling and then the support in allowing me time away from work to complete the project in what has been an incredibly busy year at the company. Another thank you must go to my manager, Leanne Jones, whose unwavering support, encouragement, and help along the way made the process seamless and easy. Your guidance throughout made the completion of this task possible. 

 

I also have to thank my incredible wife who throughout this whole process provided me with plenty of encouragement and did so whilst looking after our newly born first child, Zoe. Time away from home was very hard for me but I can only imagine how it was for her. I am astounded by her strength during that period and am eternally grateful for having both her and Zoe in my life.

 

Finally, I would like to say that anyone involved in the Victorian Tourism Industry and a part of VTIC should apply or encourage staff to apply for what is a fantastic opportunity in the Lynette Bergin Fellowship.

 

Feel free to contact me with any questions or to share any experiences you have with this technology.