Call it an out-of-body experience: rushing down the slopes of Whistler while sitting in an office in downtown Vancouver.
Destination BC hopes to use virtual reality to give potential tourists an almost tangible glimpse of what British Columbia has to offer.
“I think even describing with words what it feels like is nothing like feeling like you’re literally there,” Destination BC’s Maya Lange said.
On a couple of bright spring days last year, a camera crew shot 360-degree footage of skiing at Whistler.
Destination BC is betting this will make it easier to sell the province to the world.
“We only get about one per cent of global visitation,” Lange said. “It’s really difficult to distinguish ourselves in the global sphere and really position British Columbia as the best skiing in the world.”
Tourism numbers across B.C. continue to set new records and that is expected to carry through to winter thanks to a low Canadian dollar that appeals to international visitors. Destination BC also hopes to see local skiers hit the slopes this winter.
“All in all, we have about 40 different ski resorts and ski hills around the province so there’s lots of terrain for people to try,” Lange said.
Destination BC has been a pioneer in using virtual reality technology for its marketing. They believe it will give them a leg up in a worldwide business worth billions of dollars.