POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– If you’ve ever wanted to view the Hudson River and surrounding mountains from the open air cockpit of a bi-plane without leaving the comfort of your couch, look no further than Dutchess Tourism’s first virtual reality video.
Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) announced that residents and visitors alike can now experience some of the “Distinctly Dutchess” activities and attractions the county has to offer through the magic of virtual reality, by going to dutchesstourism.com/360. People can view the 360° version on their desktop computers and the Virtual Reality version on their mobile devices or smart phones via the Vimeo app.
“VR video is an important cutting-edge tool that allows Dutchess Tourism to engage audiences in a new, high-tech way that particularly appeals to millennial travelers,” said DTI President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba.
According to Cisco’s 2016 Visual Networking Index, “82% of consumer interest traffic will be video by the end of the decade.” Additionally, the 2016 YouGov Travel Booking Trends Study found that “71% of prospective travelers will download travel-specific VR content to their devices and 33% confirmed they would book their next vacation following a positive VR experience.”
According to DTI Director of Tour & Travel Dawn Hopper, “Our virtual reality videos will be an incredibly valuable tool for use at domestic and international travel trade shows in a way that printed materials are not.”
First-hand knowledge, gained through attendance at I Love NY coordinated sales missions to Europe, showed that many international tour operators are installing VR decks so prospective travelers can get a hint of what they’ll experience when they visit a destination. Production of VR videos will allow Dutchess Tourism and the Hudson Valley to sell a new experience to visitors traveling from around the world — especially through new connections created by Norwegian Airlines’ flights into Stewart International Airport that will bring visitors from Ireland, Scotland, England and beyond to the Hudson Valley.
Tourism continues to be a major economic driver for Dutchess County. More than 4.75 million people visit the county annually and in addition to spending over half a billion dollars on lodging, dining, shopping, area attractions and transportation, generated $40.9 million in local taxes and $31.7 million for New York State. According to the report, were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in Dutchess County would have to pay an additional $678 to maintain the same level of government revenue.
2016 tourism spending in Dutchess County increased 7.6% over 2015 to more than $568 million. This is the seventh consecutive year spending has increased and the one with the largest annual jump. Tourism is New York’s fourth largest industry and employs 10,484 people within Dutchess County.