Singapore: Vacation rental marketplace HomeAway has launched a virtual tours offering in Bali, making the Indonesian island the first Asia-Pacific market to offer such tours and the second worldwide after the United States.
The newly-launched proprietary product provides virtual tours of vacation rentals listed on HomeAway’s platform, enabling travellers to view properties from all angles and visualise their stay from any location around the world. From its usage in the U.S, it is believed to improve the conversion rate into bookings for homeowners and property managers.
Virtual tours will be available to prospective customers on all desktop and mobile web platforms in an approach that HomeAway claims is ‘unique’ in the vacation rental industry. The company says its tours range from ‘DIY’ tours recorded on personal mobile phones and cameras to professionally captured footage provided by established virtual tour firms such as InsideMaps and professionals including TruPlace.
Judith Davidson, regional director for HomeAway in Asia, told HospitalityNet: “Virtual reality has transformed the entire customer journey and experience. HomeAway is harnessing virtual technology for holiday homes in a way that has never been done before.
“As a priority destination in Asia, Bali will be the first market outside of U.S to offer virtual tours. The digital economy has opened up incredible possibilities for small-medium enterprises and independent property owners in Asia and we are proud to combine the brainpower and scale of HomeAway and Expedia Group to deliver even more value to our customers around the world through tools like virtual tours,” she added.
HomeAway places customer feedback as the driving force behind its innovational regeneration process, in order to understand and solve the needs, desires and requirements of its respective travellers and partners. Following that, it can leverage this knowledge through its technology to conceive in-built solutions that will meet these challenges.
The virtual tours offering also fits into Expedia’s business framework which focuses on channelling the needs of its partners and customers when building new products.
HomeAway is currently running its own fully-funded virtual tour programme for designated properties in Bali and listed exclusively on its platform. As part of the pilot programme, the rate of conversion is being tested for the benefit of property managers and homeowners.
Earlier this year, HomeAway added other innovative features to its product offering, including its Trip Boards application where travellers can call on the aid of friends and family to help them pick their ideal vacation rental home.
For more information, visit the HomeAway website here.