Cape Town entices tourists with immersive gaming tech

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Zeitz MOCAA is one of the Urban Adventurer experiences.

The City of Cape Town is making use of immersive technology to woo global visitors to the Mother City.

This, as the country’s tourism industry was negatively impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.

Cape Town Tourism, the city’s official tourism marketing body, has launched what it says is its most important initiative to date – the Find Your Freedom immersive travel experience.

According to the body, the interactive interface uses game-style graphics to empower global travelers to choose their Mother City adventure, based on the guide they identify with – the Fearless Foodie, Nature Warrior, or Urban Adventurer.

Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, says: “Find Your Freedom uses the latest digital technology to immerse viewers in unique Cape Town choice-driven video experiences.

“You choose your guide. You choose your adventure. It’s an interactive journey from start to finish.”

Alderman James Vos, City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for economic growth, says: “Our goal is to fuel faster recovery in the visitor economy.

“Following the pandemic, people worldwide are itching to explore, do more, and reclaim that sense of purpose. We want to encourage individuals in our key source markets to jump on a plane and come to Cape Town to find their freedom. This new campaign really hits the mark, not just in terms of being something original and fun, but most importantly, being enticing enough, I believe, to result in actual bookings.”

A visit to La Colombe under the Fearless Foodie experience.

A visit to La Colombe under the Fearless Foodie experience.

Hosted on the Cape Town Tourism website, visitors are welcomed into an immersive world by an enchanted African storyteller, who urges them to choose their guide.

All characters are designed to be visually striking, in gaming-inspired, Afro-futurist graphics, says Cape Town Tourism.

It explains that once they select the Fearless Foodie, Nature Warrior or Urban Adventurer, the viewer is taken down a rabbit hole of rapid videos, showcasing some of the best offerings linked to their interests.

For example, a fearless foodie will ‘visit’ La Colombe, watch an aunty fold samosas in the Bo Kaap, and dive into steampunk scenes at Truth Coffee.

The city says the fact that viewers get to make their own choices is the cornerstone of the campaign and very current with international trends.

Leigh Dawber, chief marketing officer at Cape Town Tourism, says: “With the creeping onset of the metaverse, choice will continue to govern virtual experiences that feel ever more real. In this campaign, we’ve combined real-life footage of Cape Town with whimsical CGI [computer-generated imagery] touches.”

This method of putting the user in charge increases engagement, says the organization. Dawber adds: “Many of us remember those iconic Choose Your Own Adventure childhood books.

A Nature Warrior experience − kayaking with penguins.

A Nature Warrior experience − kayaking with penguins.

“This campaign works in a similar way. It’s innovative and inspiring. It lets you dictate how you explore our beautiful city. Millennials, especially, have a keen sense of adventure and desire to travel with purpose. Our aim is to appeal to this. The more personalized you can make your experience of the Mother City, the more likely you are to plan the trip of a lifetime.”

The Find Your Freedom immersive travel experience also leans on the idea of ​​co-creation. Cape Town Tourism is working with GoPro Global, where six international ambassadors will share what “Find Your Freedom” in Cape Town means through their lens.

Dawber says: “The idea with this initiative is to delve into a different kind of storytelling. This partnership will see these renowned creatives share their stories, their way.”

Cape Town Tourism is also partnering with Expedia on conversion, enabling visitors to book and enjoy special travel packages and discounts.

Ultimately, Find Your Freedom works to restore confidence in Cape Town, which suffered greatly from the global travel bans over the past two years, says the city.

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