ITS Campus, ITS News – The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic still affects many community activities, one of which is in the tourism sector. Adapting to current conditions, the Community Service (Abmas) team of Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) designed a virtual tour to help promote tourism to the broader community.
Okta Putra Setio Ardianto ST MT explained that Mhatrang Valley tourism, located in Kebonunggul Village, Gondang District, Mojokerto Regency, became the selected tourist attraction in the Abmas project this time. Mhatrang Valley tourism was built and pursued as one village-based tour based on the local community’s self-help.
This is what ultimately lies behind making a virtual tour because it is considered very helpful and has a good impact on the manager. “With virtual tours, people will realize that village-run tourism can also compete with other tours developed by the private sector,” he said.
For information, this community service is a form of Okta’s collaboration with three Interior Design Department lecturers and two ITS Development Studies Department lecturers. They are Caesario Ari Budianto ST MT, Thomas Ari Kristianto S Sn MT, Anggra Ayu Rucitra ST M MT, Dr Arfan Fahmi SS M Pd, and Deti Rahmawati SIP MT. Okta mentioned, this program also involved six students of the 2018 Interior Design Department.
Okta, a lecturer in the Interior Design Department, explained that the virtual tour innovation that his team worked on used 360-degree photo technology. This technology is interactive and immersive to make people feel that their visit to the Mhatrang Valley feels real. All of these 360-degree photos from this Mhatrang Valley tour, Okta admitted, were taken independently without using satellite imagery.
In addition, the lecturer, who has expertise in environmental architecture, explained that his team applied this 360-degree photo technology from a ground and aerial perspective. Photos from the air allow the public to see the tourist sites, even if only virtually fully. Moreover, Okta and his team also use up-to-date graphics as support. “The result is an exclusive and contemporary virtual tour design,” said Okta.
Now, the virtual tour by Okta and his team can be accessed via the link http://interiorscience.tech/VT-Mhatrang/. Even though the content is not much, information features about Mhatrang Valley tourism will be added later. Through this feature, the public can find ticket prices, facilities, activities, or tourist attractions, to the existing culinary options. This website is also connected to the social media of Mhatrang Valley tourism.
Furthermore, Okta said that the virtual tour design, which began in July 2021, would still be developed by his team until the end of the year. “Later, it will be optimized for reporting, publication, promotion, as well as making scientific publications,” said this ITS Architecture Masters graduate.
Okta mentioned several positive impacts of making virtual tours to the local community. Their role in taking photos and videos of tours of the Mhatrang Valley made the public recognize and learn about the importance of multimedia. In addition, the pride that comes from having virtual tour technology is expected to support the promotion process. “Furthermore, there will be an economic turnaround if the promotion is successful,” he explained.
One of the obstacles experienced by Okta and his team in implementing this program is the mobility that is hampered due to the pandemic. Because they could not freely visit the tourist attractions of the Mhatrang Valley, Okta and his team had to be wise to make adjustments. “Time management and work program strategies were our solutions at that time,” he said.
Although faced with obstacles, Okta and his team hope that the initial goal of making a virtual tour of the Mhatrang Valley tour can be achieved. With a good promotion, Okta and his team want tourism in the Mhatrang Valley to be more well known. In addition, Okta also hopes that this virtual tour technology will motivate tourism managers. “It would be good if this technology became a new benchmark in tourism promotion activities,” he concluded excitedly. (ITS Public Relation/far)
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