COLUMBUS — Zipping through tree tops, plunging down roller coaster hills, soaring over Lake Erie and reveling in Ohio’s urban cultural offerings are just a few of the experiences visitors can enjoy as TourismOhio launches a 360°Virtual Reality Experience July 18-21 at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland. Ohio will be one of the first states to harness innovative virtual reality technology encouraging visitors to explore Ohio and inspire future visits.
“The 360°Virtual Reality Experience capitalizes on visitors coming to Cleveland for the RNC and showcases Ohio to them in a way that’s never been done before,” said Mary Cusick, director of TourismOhio. “Our research shows that consumers are more likely to return to Ohio after they’ve experienced our state once. We believe virtual reality will build interest for future trips by showing show users the excitement and joy that are part of visiting Ohio destinations.”
Housed in a “Joy Ride” branded 40-passenger bus, the 360°Virtual Reality Experience will offer a personal Ohio adventure for participants with a wide range of interests. RNC attendees can try the virtual reality experience by visiting the bus located outside of Quicken Loans Arena (The Q) while consumers can explore on their own at Ohio.org/RNC.
The 360°Virtual Reality Experience features 16 videos including:
• Riding Cedar Point’s Millennium Force
• Zip Lining and Hiking in Hocking Hills (Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls)
• Parasailing over Lake Erie, a visit to Kelleys Island and Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay
• Explorations of Franklin Park Conservatory, the Short North Arts District and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
• A flyover of Cincinnati Museum Center and tours of Over-the-Rhine and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
• Cultural immersions with the Cleveland Orchestra, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ohio City Festival and a visit to Playhouse Square
Throughout the year, TourismOhio will continue to leverage notable events to engage consumers with the 360°Virtual Reality Experience. The program also will be available to attendees of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) National Convention in Cincinnati. The videos, accessible on Ohio.org/VR, are compatible with Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard and other viewers with the YouTube app.
Production of the virtual reality videos was coordinated over the past year in partnership with more than a dozen tourism marketing organizations and attractions. Footage was captured using a number of specialized cameras including stereoscopic and monoscopic camera rigs; an octocopter drone and a remote-controlled tripod vehicle.
The virtual reality program is a natural tie to TourismOhio’s new branding, Ohio. Find It Here., and further demonstrates the breadth of tourism activities available within the state and the emotions they evoke from travelers.