More than 670,000 drones have been registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), according to Fortune. Not all of these drones are used for recreational or leisure purpose, however. On the contrary, the FAA only requires drone operators to register drones when they will be used for commercial purposes. There are dozens of ways in which businesses use drones, one of which is to promote vacation and tourism destinations.
2015, the Tipping Point for Drone Tourism
Some people assume that tourism businesses have just recently begun using drones to promote their destinations and attract customers, but this isn’t necessarily true. This trend actually began back in 2015, during which companies in multiple industries — tourism, filmmaking, wedding photography, construction, etc. — began using them. When speaking at the 2015 Connections Luxury Asia, communications expert Ewan MacLeod explained that some of the world’s leading resort companies, including Waldorf Astoria and Conrad, were taking down the photo galleries from their respective websites and replacing them with videos shot with drones.
How Drones are Changing the Tourism Industry
This begs the question: why are tourism businesses investing in drone videography? For starters, they allow tourism businesses to produce exceptional videos that trigger a visceral reaction in viewers, enticing them to visit the featured business. Several years ago, Think With Google — the search engine giant’s data insight branch — noted that online consumption of travel-related videos was increasingly immensely. Think With Google researchers explained that travel videos attract more consumers than text and generate more sales than any other type of content. Tourism businesses can always use traditional on-the-ground equipment to film videos of their properties, but drones offer a unique perspective that typically results in a higher level of user engagement.
Perhaps the most notable way in which drones are changing the tourism industry is their ability to provide a bird’s-eye view of properties and landscapes. There’s only so much you can show in a photo. If you operate a beach resort, you can take dozens or even hundreds of photos of your resort, but this doesn’t reveal the surrounding landscape and its scale. Drones solve this issue by allowing tourism businesses to showcase their entire property from a bird’s-eye perspective. Whether it’s a beach, mountain, lakeside resort or virtually any other landscape, drones are the perfect solution for showcasing a property’s true scale.
Of course, prior to the age of unmanned aerial vehicles, tourism businesses would use helicopters to film aerial footage of their properties and landscapes. While also offering a bird’s-eye view, however, helicopters had limited utility. Local laws often prohibit helicopter pilots from flying close to the ground and/or around people. Furthermore, chartering a helicopter for a video shoot requires a substantial monetary investment.
In addition to their ability to record footage from the skies, drones can also be used to film close to the ground. Again, this is something that can’t be said for helicopters. Using drones, tourism businesses can fly high above their properties, followed by bringing the drone down low. The end result in a superior quality video that connects with viewers. In some cases, drones can even be flown indoors to showcase the interior of a resort or property.
Finally, drones are capable of recording video in beautiful high definition resolution. As explained on our services page, SkySee Video offers professional drone videography services with 4K resolution. As you may already know, 4K resolution refers to the HD with 4,000 pixels. In the past, only a select few high-end TVs supported 4K resolution. According to a recent study, however, more than half of all households in the United States are expected to have a 4K-capabale TV by 2020. Assuming this is correct, this means 4K will have a faster adoption rate than 1080p.
Drones and Virtual Reality
A relatively new tactic used by tech-savvy tourism businesses involves combining drones with virtual reality to create an interactive walkthrough of a destination. The general idea is to record a location or landscape from multiple perspectives and then stitching those clips together while giving the viewer choices on which area to view. Known as a virtual tour, it allows prospective vacation-seekers to view a tourism destination from the comfort of their own home. A virtual tour of a beach, for instance, may allow the viewer to walk down the beach and into the resort lobby — all by using the virtual tour video created by drones.
The Future of Drones for Tourism
These are just a few ways that drones are changing the tourism industry. So, what’s next for the future of drones in the tourism industry? There’s no way to tell what the future holds, but the general consensus is that drones are here to stay. Tourism businesses big and small are now using them to enhance and improve their marketing campaigns. It’s a smart investment that allows tourism businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract more customers.