What are hotel virtual tours?

Hotel virtual tours offer a digital way for potential guests to experience your hotel from a first-person point of view, by creating a digital recreation of your property they can ‘walk’ through.

Letting a customer try before they buy is a great way to let them feel at ease with their purchase. But when that purchase is a couple of nights in a hotel that might be half a world away, a test run is a little less feasible.

Unless, that is, you offer your guests a hotel virtual tour.

You may already be offering a limited virtual tour of your premises without even knowing it, as Google Street View often pops its cameras into hotel lobbies, allowing users to peek inside.

Why should you create a hotel virtual tour? 

Hotel virtual tours offer a great opportunity for guests to not just see, but virtually experience a hotel before putting their money down.

The effectiveness of 360° hotel virtual tours can be seen in the numbers:

  • Guests who do a virtual tour are twice as likely to be interested in booking a reservation at your hotel.
  • 18 to 34-year-olds are 130% more likely to book based on a virtual tour.

Tours in virtual hotels can give prospective guests unmatched insight into what their stay might be like, and can greatly increase the likelihood that they book with you. And while the technology was once restricted to luxury hotel virtual tours, it’s now affordable enough that any hotel, no matter the size, can capitalise on it.

Another compelling reason to create virtual tours for your hotel is to ensure that you aren’t left behind. Most major hotel brands now offer hotel room virtual tours, so it is fast becoming something that your customers expect.

Here’s everything a small, independent, hotelier needs to know about hotel room virtual tours.

How can you make a virtual tour for your hotel?

There are a number of ways in which a virtual tour can be made, from stitching still images together to scanning the premises and constructing a full digital recreation.

It is possible to create your own virtual hotel tour, but you’ll need to have a very specific set of skills in order to capture high-quality images that are appropriately consistent – the same quality, light levels, focus and more – and to stitch these photos together with virtual tour software.

A far safer option is to hire a professional to take the weight off your shoulders. You can be confident that you’ll end up with a high quality virtual tour that helps deliver conversions.

What should be included in a hotel virtual tour?

The most important thing to capture when constructing a virtual hotel tour are your individual rooms. Hotel room virtual tours are what most guests will be looking for, as this is what they will actually be booking and where they will be spending most of their time while on your premises.

That said, it’s wise to include as much of your property as possible in your virtual tour. You should also feature your lobby, restaurants, bars and other communal areas. While a complete tour of your property is great, thoroughfares and bathrooms tend to lie at the bottom of your priority list (unless you boast a truly spectacular bathroom).

Once you’ve constructed your virtual tour, what is the best way to showcase your hotel rooms on your website? A solid approach is to feature the entire virtual tour on your homepage, then show parts of the tour – individual rooms, bar, lobby, communal spaces – on their respective web pages.

You’ll also need to ensure you have a website that can easily integrate a virtual tour. Any website that can feature video, such as those made with Little Hotelier’s website builder, will be capable of displaying a virtual tour.

Amazing examples of hotel virtual tours

Luxury hotel virtual tours

  • Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel): A seasonal marvel found in Quebec, it is North America’s first and only true ice hotel. As you can see, the Ice hotel virtual tour gives an incredibly engaging experience of the stunning accommodation, and is a great example of how virtual technology can be used.
  • Legoland Billund: Taking healthy inspiration from Google Street View, this virtual tour lets you scroll and stroll through both the hotel and park at Legoland Billund. Check out how the Legoland hotel virtual tour immerses its viewers into the iconic hotel and theme park.

Boutique hotel virtual tours

  • Samui Sunsets: Virtual tours are all the more engaging and alluring when the content is stunning. Perched on the northern coast of Koh Samui in Thailand, Samui Sunsets makes the most of its breathtaking views to create a tour that walks you through the property in the late afternoon and evening.
  • Dorian House: Located in the historic city of Bath, Dorian House’s virtual tour will make you feel like you’re wandering the set of Downton Abbey, all lush gardens, ornate wall art and grand four-poster beds.

Take your hotel website to the next level

Hotel virtual tours are fast transforming from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’. With the technology already proven as an effective way to attract new visitors, and with the barrier to entry falling ever lower, it will only become more prevalent in the hotel industry.

No matter whether you choose to DIY your virtual hotel tour or hand the responsibility over to a professional, you’ll need a website capable of hosting it, and with Little Hotelier’s website builder you get exactly that. A simple and intuitive tool designed specifically for small, independent hotels and hoteliers, our website builder lets you create your own fully featured website, capable of hosting a virtual tour, in less than an hour.

  • Beautiful, purpose-built templates: Little Hotelier’s website templates are designed by experts specifically for small, independent hotels, and are made with the guest experience in mind.
  • Drag and drop functionality: Adding any element to your website, from a virtual tour to a block of text, couldn’t be easier with our no code, drag-and-drop interface. 
  • Easy integration: No matter whether you’re linking a virtual tour, a third-party app or your entire property management system (PMS), our website builder makes integration simple and seamless.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).