In the wake of the new year, World VR Forum’s Salar Shahna, Creative Director and CEO; Delphine Seitiee, Executive Director and COO; Ellen Kuo, Head of Market Development and Daniela Gouveia, Visual Communication Designer attended the first edition of EMTS (European Mountain Travel Summit) produced by Mountain Travel Symposium in Crans-Montana, Switzerland and based on a grand event that’s been taking place for 40 years, gathering top leaders of ski resorts from all over the world: several locations in Switzerland, France, United States of America, Canada, China, South Korea, and some top agencies: Google, Airbnb and Facebook who explained their strategies for mountain travel, 9 – 11 January, 2017.
When Shahna was contacted by Bruno Huggler, Director of Crans-Montana Tourism & Congress about EMTS, he was thrilled to join as a keynote speaker to talk about possible collaboration between Virtual Reality, ski resorts and tourism and to host a small VR café to show some skiing and mountain related VR content and storytelling for That and This, especially, since it was at the same Congress Center where WVRF hosts the Annual Summit.
According to Shahna, “for attendees, the Virtual Reality experience was captivating, because many of them tried VR for the first time.” Shahna remarked that his keynote was very well appreciated, particularly his insights on the possibilities that VR offers, explanation on the VR equipment that exists and the best way of implementing VR to the target audience.
“For ski resorts, I identify three targets for VR – people who are already on site, people who frequently go to the mountains and people who prefer the beach,” said Shahna, “there is a different way for each community to tackle them, I encourage them to have VR in tourism offices, to print cardboards to give them away, to sell small, low-cost 360° cameras for user-generated content to share with their friends on Facebook, YouTube, Tweeter as they all support 360° content now.”
“For ski resorts, I identify three targets for VR – people who are already on site, people who frequently go to the mountains and people who prefer the beach,”
Shahna recommended good quality production so it’s future proof and would not fall into the obvious trap of numerous extreme sports videos on the internet such as skydiving and mountain climbing as they tend to give motion sickness in the VR format and should be more focused on the human experience. Shahna concluded his speech on a progressive note about AR (Augmented Reality) as it can be applied on the ski slopes in the future, when glasses will be powerful enough to identify tracks, friends, altitude or temperature.