Beaches & ‘The Strip’ in Gambia on Google Street View!
Google has not yet been in The Gambia to shoot the imagery for Google Street View, although they already covered part of the neighboring country, Senegal. Therefore, we decided to shoot some imagery ourselves! Since a few months we –as as Trusted Photographers– are allowed to shoot the street imagery under certain conditions. We have all the equipment, so we only needed a company to sponsor this little project by supplying a car we could use. TAF Africa Global sponsored the vehicle, we mounted the camera and started shooting, while driving around. This map below shows where we’ve been: The blue lines illustrate the roads covered…(click on the image to enlarge) Google Beach View! As you can see we not only covered some roads, but also a part of the beach!! We introduced Beach View into The Gambia!! Check out for example the beach in front of Poco Loco and walk north towards Kotu, keeping the ocean at your left: There are some glitches in our shoots, but those will be ironed out over time. Our experiment illustrates what can be accomplished to promote the beautiful beaches as well as the local businesses in The Gambia: Shooting ‘The Strip’ Obviously […]
New businesses added in November, 2018
More and more Gambian businesses become interested in the Virtual Tours on Google Street View. During the November trip, we not only shot Virtual Tours in the hospitality industry, but also in a hardware store, two offices and a mall! Check out the virtual tours of the following businesses: AssutechBig Apple Executive LoungeDIY EmporiumGusto Italian RestaurantKololi Beach ClubMadiba MallMakalliMatta ConsultingPoco Loco (reshoot)Princess ApartmentsYosh Related posts: Gambian hotels & restaurants LIVE on Google Streetview Djeliba Virtual Tour over half million views!
Google My Business Trusted Verifier for Africa!
We are honored that InsideVIEW has been certified by Google as a so-called “Trusted Verifier” for Google My Business. We now belong to a handful of trusted companies worldwide, who have been given this prestigious title. We’ve chosen Africa as our continent to focus on. Reason is that in many other parts of the world companies can use the regular mail service to receive a postcard with a PIN or receive a phone call. But in Africa, this is all much more complicated. What is a Trusted Verifier? A Trusted Verifier (TV) is a partner that is able to create and verify both new Google My Business listings and also verify existing (unclaimed) listings on the spot instantly. There are a few requirements before we can verify a business: Be physically at the geographic location of the business.Get proof of the business existence, by checking business documents in case we cannot be at the location, such as a business license issued by the government or a utility bill Why verify your local business on Google My Business? Once verified, business owners have access to: Update contact details and descriptionUpdate Business hours and special hoursUpload photosRespond to reviewsPublish postsPublish services (if […]
Djeliba Virtual Tour over half million views!
Remember I wrote that virtual tours are really being used by people on the Internet and that the amount of views was exploding? Well, that wasn’t just that moment. The views continue to explode! Last year, on October 3rd, Djeliba Hotel had 17,138 views. Now, almost 11 months later, the view count has surpassed 500,000! HALF A MILLION! And more hotels have hundreds of thousands of views, as you can see below: Do not worry! You’re NOT missing out! I will be back in The Gambia starting November 9th, 2018 and I am currently accepting bookings for virtual tour shoots. So make sure you contact me in time to schedule the shoot and publication of the virtual tour of YOUR business! Check out the stats of other Gambian businesses: Related posts: Explosion of Gambian virtual tours’ view counts The true VALUE of a virtual tour? New businesses added in November, 2018 Online Travel Agencies express interest in branded virtual tours
Fix your Google My Business listing to get more traffic to your site (TIP)
Many business owners don’t know that they have a special business listing on Google, nor that they can claim this listing so they become the owner of it. Claiming a listing allows you to see how many times your listing has been showed in both the search results as well as on Google Maps, reply to reviews and more… Search for your business name and the country (just to make sure you get for example the correct “Paradise Beach Bar” in the right country) on Google and see at the right hand side of the screen. If you see something similar to the screenshot below, you have a listing for your business on what is called “Google My Business“: Google even tells you what needs to be done to improve the quality of this business listing, like in this case: Add phone number Add business hours Add website The “Add website” is important in particular, because if your business is not listed on the front page of Google when people search for your business name, but your Google My Business listing IS shown, how can people find you and how do you expect to grow your business? For a local […]
The true VALUE of a virtual tour?
Today, I don’t want to talk about the price of a virtual tour, but about the true VALUE! The investment is moderate, but what is it going to bring you? That is the question! People really use virtual tours! As you have seen in my previous email, the future is now! That means that people are really searching for, and looking at virtual tours. They almost “demand” them, when checking out potential holiday destinations, such as YOUR business. Yes, people almost demand them. Remember I told you last week that the virtual tour of Balafon Resort had been viewed 27,052 times? Well, today, one week later, the view count for Balafon is 33,828 an INCREASE OF MORE THAN 25% in ONE WEEK! Kombo Beach Hotel is the leader of the pack of last week: their virtual tour’s view count increased from 28,115 to 46,464: more than 65% INCREASE IN ONE WEEK! The increase in view counts emphasizes the need for virtual tours in the tourism industry. Priced for the local market A virtual tour does not come for free, that is a fact. But the good thing is that the virtual tours we offer to local businesses are priced for the local […]
Ready to loose bookings? No? Read this!
The times that people looking for a hotel are booking solely based on a handful of “flat” photos and some videos are long gone! This is not to preach to our own choir, so to speak. It is a fact and it is happening now! Search on the Internet and you’ll see what is happening in the world… Here are some statistics on virtual tours in the travel industry, collected from various sources on the Internet: Websites with virtual tours are viewed 5-10 times longer than those without virtual tours. A site with a 360º virtual tour and interactive media will receive 40% more views than a competitor’s site that is lacking media (Pew Internet Life Study). Hotels that have virtual tours on their website, generate 48% more bookings (research by Best Western) Rich media (interactive visuals, such as videos and/or virtual tours) increase conversion rates by 64% (ICE Portal) Virtual Tours are used by more than 50% of all adult Internet users on a regular basis when performing Internet research. With strongly rising tendency. (”Clickz Stats“ Study 2006) We collected some more headlines and snippets from various sites across the Internet, which you can find below. Related posts: Djeliba Virtual […]
InsideVIEW Helps Tjingo Embrace the Magic of VR Tours
Tjingo partners with InsideVIEW to bring African hotels directly to Dutch living rooms Amsterdam— 10/04/2017 — When booking a vacation, it’s easy to find a handful of flat hotel photos online. Finding a 360-degree vacation experience allowing for an in-depth view of a prospective hotel? Harder. VR—virtual reality—isn’t mainstream just yet. Nevertheless, InsideVIEW, the virtual tour company, and online travel agency Tjingo have become the first in the Netherlands to make the technology more accessible by adding several VR-capable virtual tours of Gambian hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Several online travel agencies (OTAs) have embraced VR-capable virtual tours, but Tjingo is the first Dutch OTA to do so. Travelers who wish to visit the African nation of The Gambia can use an Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, or Google Cardboard device to virtually walk through a prospective hotel or restaurant. The experience is an immersive one, vastly increasing a vacationer’s chances of picking the accommodations which will make them the happiest. Travelers without these devices may still enjoy in-depth 360 photo tours of certain Gambian hotels on Tjingo’s website, enjoying a seamless click-through photo experience. Each photo offers sharp, crystal-clear detail of everything from lobbies to suites. Hotels and other […]
Explosion of Gambian virtual tours’ view counts
Earlier this year, we have shot virtual tours of hotels and restaurants in the Gambia and published those on Google Streetview. These virtual tours had been visited a few thousand times until three weeks ago. Where for example the virtual tour of Leo’s Beach Hotel & Restaurant had 3,457 views on September 15th, it now is the most viewed location in The Gambia, with 28,644 views! The number of views increased by 729% in only 18 days! September, 15th October, 3rd What about Balafon Resort’s virtual tour? It had 7,431 views on September 15th and it today (October, 3rd) shows a whopping 27,052 views! An increase of 260% in the same period! September, 15th October, 3rd It proves that the season is starting now and people are really using the virtual tours to view and compare their holiday destinations. See the following view counts of today (October, 3rd) of the virtual tours of various wellknown locations. These counts are cumulative since March this year: Location* #Views Leo’s Beach Hotel & Restaurant 28,644 Kombo Beach Hotel 28,115 Balafon Resort 27,052 Djeliba Hotel 17,138 Poco Loco Beach Bar 15,208 African Queen Massage Studio 14,311 Djembe Beach […]
Gambian app with virtual tours wins Most Innovative Business Concept 2017 Award!
Assutech, a Gambia-based software development company was awarded the Most Innovative Business Concept Award 2017 by the GCCI, the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry in
Online Travel Agencies express interest in branded virtual tours
The time that we could entice people to book a hotel by showing breathtaking still photos are gone. Your website’s visitors are constantly looking for more immersive content prior to booking their holiday destination. We’ve been shooting virtual tours of various hotels in the Gambia and published those on Google Maps and Google Streetview recently in order to offer this high-in-demand content. And since a few months we can create branded virtual tours. These branded virtual tours contain: quick links to areas of interest in the virtual tour (e.g. “Bar”, “Pool area”, “Lobby”, “Superior room” etc.) link to a page on the brand’s website (e.g. the page of a specific hotel or resort) the brand’s logo in the so-called “nadir” (the point under the camera, where the tripod was located) VR glasses support (“cardboard”) An OTA (Online Travel Agency) who saw the opportunity immediately is the Netherlands-based Tjingo. They started with a branded virtual tour of one hotel: Kombo Beach Hotel, in the Gambia. Branded Virtual Tour of Kombo Beach Hotel The following branded virtual tour starts at the pool area. The menu in the upper left corner contains the various hot spots of the hotel (in Dutch), whereas the link in the lower right bottom […]
Gambian hotels & restaurants LIVE on Google Streetview
We’ve been visiting The Gambia recently, in order to shoot virtual tours of various hotels and restaurants which have been published on Google Streetview and Google Maps. Today, these businesses allow people from all over the world to virtually walk through the venue from the comfort of their own home, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The virtual tours are allowing future guests to explore the nicest places of these businesses on their desktop, tablet and smartphone. To quickly see a few examples, you can watch this video: Gambian hotels LIVE on Streetview The following hotels are currently live on Google Streetview (click on their names to see the virtual tour through the hotels): Kombo Beach Hotel Bakotu Hotel Leo’s Beach Hotel & Restaurant Djembe Beach Hotel Djeliba Hotel A few other hotels will be published soon. Gambian restaurants LIVE on Streetview We’ve also shot the virtual tours for these restaurants: Poco Loco Beach Bar TeJo’s Pannenkoekenbar Woodies El Sol The Winery Sea Shells Bar & Restaurant Other businesses live on Streetview And while talking to various business owners, we have also been asked to shoot the African Queen Massage Studio. Want a Virtual Tour for YOUR Business in […]
Coming back to the Gambia in March, 2017!
My trip to the Gambia a few weeks ago was ended very quickly due the political situation, even before I have been able to visit any hotel, resort or restaurant/bar to shoot a virtual tour for Google Streetview! Don’t worry: I decided to allow all business owners to have the virtual tour photographed and online on Google and their website before the next season! This means that your future guests will have the opportunity to walk virtually through your great venue from the comfort of their own home, by simply using a tablet, smartphone or desktop.This will greatly increase the chance of them booking your location and NOT your competitors’! I will be in the Gambia, ready to shoot virtual tours from Thursday, March 2nd and I will be available for bookings until Wednesday March, 8th. Frequently Asked Questions (and the answers) Prior to the previous trip I received various questions by business owners and managers. I’ve recorded a few short videos in which I answer the following questions: What is Google Streetview Trusted? Who is Eduard de Boer? How long have you been in the Google Streetview program? In which countries can you shoot a virtual tour? My street is not on Google Streetview. Can […]
I am super excited to be visiting the Gambia from January 17th till January 22nd in 2017. If you are a restaurant, bar, hotel, or resort owner this is the perfect time to book your photo shoot. I love coming to Gambia because I really believe it’s one of the world’s best kept secrets in terms of vacation destinations. The beaches are gorgeous, the nightlife is incredible and the food is amazing. My wife and I have been here several times and it continues to hold a special place in our hearts. We first visited the Gambia in 2014, and immediately felt in love with the smiling coast of Africa. Of course, as I said, this will be a working trip. I’ll be based in Kotu, but I’ll be covering the entire coastal area including Banjul, Serrekunda, and Kololi. I’ve already booked a few shoots. So, my calendar is filling up fast, but there’s still plenty of time to book your appointment. Related posts: Online Travel Agencies express interest in branded virtual tours Coming back to the Gambia in March, 2017! Beaches & ‘The Strip’ in Gambia on Google Street View!