The world-first augmented reality (AR) theatrical tour in Israel offered by TAcentre.com and its B2C arm Asiatravel.com is seeing good reception among Israel’s tourism stakeholders, who laud the innovative new format for enhancing customer experience and offering content suitable for a broader range of visitors.
The AR technology by content provider Yaturu has a headset and cellphone application allowing tourists to view Hollywood-quality, 360-degree images superimposed on the sites, giving a better sense of the destination by making the traditional tour format more immersive, experiential and interactive.
Mariel Cuevas, wholesale manager B2B, TAcentre.com, said plans are to send at least two groups a month to Israel, one English-speaking and the other Chinese-speaking, beginning September. The AR theatrical tour will also be introduced to Asia, starting with Singapore next year, she added.
Uri Taub, director, Asia and Pacific marketing desk, marketing administration at Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, said that while he has yet to experience the AR theatrical tour, the new product “helps to bridge a very large gap” in destination experiences.
Taub commented that tourists can simply download an application now to bring the destination and its stories to life “instead of (having to) imagine everything”.
Since the tour content is focused on Israel’s history from biblical times to periods in modern history, the new AR theatrical tour is a “good solution” that offers greater variety to repeat visitors as well as those not connected to religious pilgrimages, opined Sharona Itzhakim, CEO of Genesis Boutique Travel, which is one of TAcentre.com’s partners in Israel.
Another TAcentre.com partner, Dana Mamlock, Vered Hasharon Travel and Tours’ Chinese division manager, said offering the new concept tour enables travellers not just from China but the world over to discover and see the reality in Israel aided by technology.