Subscribe to industry newsletters

Advertise on Bizcommunity

Rainmaker's Vista.360 virtual tours proves a powerful boost for destination Namibia

Rainmaker's Vista.360 virtual tours, powered by Google Street View Trusted, were viewed by more than three million potential guests focused on Namibia as a destination in December 2017. As a result of Rainmaker's activities, views increased to 3.84 million just a month later.

Strand Hotel Swakopmund

This is more than an average of 8,400 views per day since the very first VISTA.360 virtual tours by Rainmaker were published, and a record of 20,000 views per day throughout the past month – this marks an astonishing achievement for Namibia as a destination and a great prospect for Rainmaker Digital’s hospitality and tourism customers.

Thomas Müller, the founder and CEO of Rainmaker, started Rainmaker Digital after seven years in the Namibian tourism and hospitality industry. His everyday exposure to the digital marketing field led to the realisation that Namibia and Southern Africa’s digital presence could be dramatically improved.

Building on the Namibian digital landscape

According to Chris McIntyre, managing director of the Tour Operator Expert Africa: “Rainmaker’s great 360s have helped us bring Namibia, and many of its lodges and camps, to life for our websites visitors. Working with them has vastly improved the images and perspectives that our prospective visitors can see in Namibia, and they have certainly helped us to persuade more visitors to visit this stunningly beautiful country.”

Rainmaker has created more traffic and impact with its Vista.360 service than any other travel related website in Namibia – putting Namibia as a destination, and the participating hotels, lodges, guest houses and guest farms, etc. at the very forefront of the digital marketing landscape in Southern Africa.

To put this into perspective, according to the global web statistics platform, one of the largest tourism websites in Namibia gets around 650,550 views per year, less than 20% of what Rainmaker has achieved for its customers and the destination.

The Vista.360 virtual tours have had a significant impact on Rainmaker customers’ business in terms of occupancy, revenue, reputation and profit.

The Vista.360 virtual tour is a critical element, especially for accommodation providers. "We have been overwhelmed with more than 330,000 views of Twyfelfontein Country Lodge in just seven months. I am really happy we went for it because it significantly added to our bookings," says Riaan Brand of Twyfelfontein Country Lodges.

Twyfelfontein Country Lodge

Virtual touring garners impactful results

From the 3.84 million visitors, more than 325,000 of all visitors took action on the immersive virtual tours they saw. Either by visiting the respective accommodation website (93,000 or 28% of all actions), asking for directions while they were planning their itinerary (220,000 or 68% of all actions) or directly calling the property by phone (12,000 or 4% of all actions).

“Rainmaker provides the respective virtual tour footage free-of-charge to local and global tour operators to further improve the visibility and the business of our customers. It is all about partnering and collaboration within the Namibian hospitality and tourism Industry. The entire rainmaker focus is to create a competitive advantage for the local in-destination hospitality and tourism businesses, against the global and market dominating giants and to gain more tourism spend remaining in the country,” said Müller.