Holywood Chamber Launches First Ever Virtual Reality Tour

Holywood Chamber Launches First Ever Virtual Reality Tour

Holywood has become the first town in Northern Ireland to launch a cutting-edge, 360-degree virtual reality (VR) tour of the town in a ‘game-changing’ marketing and tourism initiative.

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

The digital tour commences with a 360-degree birds-eye view of the Co Down village, 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, whose mission it is to promote the business interests of Holywood town and the surrounding areas, say 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: “As a business owner in Holywood for over 52 years, I am really excited about this new technology which will really help us 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 brings our town to life showing everything from the beautiful seafront, historical points of interest, to public transport links, parking, to the 70+ independent shops spanning everything from ladies clothing boutiques, to silversmiths, award-winning restaurants and the many delicious coffee shops and delicatessens.”

The Holywood Virtual Tour is accessible via smart phone, tablet, computer or VR headset, and the different businesses featured can embed the link to the tour within their own website and social media channels.

Call-out tags have been placed throughout the Tour which give further details about an individual business’s product or service, allowing a photo gallery, digital brochure, voucher or menus to be uploaded, linking to external websites or E-commerce store.

David Johnson, co-owner of JohnsonWestCo said: “We are over the moon to be finally launching Holywood’s Virtual Tour after many months of planning and hard work.

“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.”

Susi Diesel, Co-President of Holywood Chamber and Manager of Camphill Coffee Shop, said: “We are delighted that Holywood is the first to invest in this technology – it is such a unique town, rich in both history, character and culture and made up of so many different amazing independent businesses that allow visitors to get a real-life glimpse onto the High Street and the surrounding areas.”

Susi concluded: “35 businesses have already signed up to the project, with more being added weekly. We urge anyone who hasn’t signed up yet to get in touch as the more businesses we have listed, the more it offers the viewer.”

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

Caption: Leslie Waite, Co-President of Belfast Chamber with David Johnson, co-owner of JohnsonWestCo, and Susi Diesel, Co-President of Holywood Chamber, pictured launching the Holywood Virtual Tour.