Now, travellers waiting for flights at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) can experience an exhilarating backwater houseboat cruise in scenic palm-fringed Kerala through a 3D virtual reality device.
Kerala Tourism has rolled out 'The Great Backwater Experience' zone at a special interactive stall set up in departure lounge of the airport's Terminal-3, just before the security point.
Similar zones are also being set up at airports in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
"The zone is up and functional at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and visitors can get an immersive experience of sitting inside a 'Kettuvellam', the traditional Kerala houseboat, floating on tranquil backwaters in a place situated over 2,000 km away. This has been made possible through the innovative use of virtual reality," said Kerala Tourism Director U.V. Jose.
Kerala's famous backwaters are brought to life for visitors through a two-minute film - specially shot using 360 degree technology utilising six cameras simultaneously - which can be viewed after they don an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
The zone is fitted with a life-size houseboat installation into which the visitor enters and dons the headset.
The film recreates the beauty of the rippling waters of a lagoon watching the distant sunset, the birds, the fishes, and other flora and fauna as they roll along.
The initiative, part of the Tourism Department's 'Out of Home' marketing campaign to promote 'Brand Kerala', is targeted at high net worth individuals in the domestic market.
"Delhi is the first airport where we have set up the 'experience site'.
Preparations are on to create similar zones at the Bengaluru and Mumbai airports too," Jose added.
After their virtual reality experience, those visiting the stall will also be asked to tweet with a special hashtag, #Greatbackwaters, for an opportunity to get a picturesque postcard from a dispensing device installed there.
The dispensing activity is controlled by tweets from users. The dispenser will capture tweets with the specified hashtag and then randomly reward a tweet with a postcard.
"Under this 'Tweet of Postcards from Kerala' activity, a postcard will be dispensed once every 15 minutes or so. The postcard can be mailed to near and dear ones at the zone itself," Jose stated.
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