12/16/2014 09:33 EST | Updated 02/15/2015 05:59 EST

Destination B.C. Builds 3D Virtual Reality Adventures To Promote Tourism

Destination B.C. is using 3D virtual reality technology to entice tourists to the province. 

It spent approximately $500,000 to develop two virtual adventures of trekking through the Great Bear Rainforest and frolicking with sea lions.

The provincial tourism agency said it is the first travel organization in North America to promote tourism using this technology.

Last week, it showed the videos to 80 travel influencers in New York and Washington D.C. and it will next roll out the experiences at trade shows and conferences around the world in early 2015.

Lindsay Meredith, a professor of marketing at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, said this is the next step for tourism marketing. 

"Destination B.C. are right on the money with this one, mainly because you can jam a lot more attributes in a hurry, and that one attribute might just be the one that sells the ticket to your resort," said Meredith.

This type of advertising is also cheaper in the long run, he said.

"Whenever you're doing something like a tourist centre, you're into a very expensive proposition," he said.

"Bricks and mortar are a really killer for your bottom line. If you can go to a technological presentation or a 3D fly-through, you cut costs."

Destination B.C. runs six visitor centres, which it said are still vital for tourism. These centres provide information to tourists who have already arrived at the destination and need information, it said, as compared to the 3D experience which can be used to draw visitors to the province. 

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