Cat’s Eye

Western River Expeditions Launches Enhanced Website Featuring 360-Degree Photography & Virtual Reality Video

April 4, 2016
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Compelling visitors to stick around, be awed by content and inspired to act is the raison d’etre of any travel website. 

That’s why veteran whitewater rafting outfitter Western River Expeditions recently engaged the expertise of Resmark Interactive, to create a new, mobile and tablet-integrated website with 360 degree imagery and VR video capabilities that went live this week at www.westernriver.com.

“Our goal with Western River Expeditions was to provide a rich environment for visitors to plan their next adventure,” says Chad Allen, Co-Founder of Resmark Interactive. For a before and after see here.

“The result is the most advanced, ground-breaking website for adventure travel and rafting to date,” adds Brandon Lake, Western River Expeditions’ CMO. He says the site is both user and mobile friendly, fresh and non-cluttered with a graphically pleasing design and “very intuitive navigation”. It features galleries of interactive 360 videos and photography and includes detailed maps, offers in-depth trip preparation advice and guest testimonials. When a visitor to the site has questions, a Western River Expeditions sales consultant is available on an easy link Live Chat.

WRE’s new site will soon be adding mile-by-mile river highlights of the Colorado and Green Rivers, both favorite river rafting destinations for this this company that escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona’s Grand Canyon than any other outfitter.

By making the new website fully mobile and smartphone compatible visitors will be able to fully utilize the 360 degree virtual reality video capabilities.  Users will need to attach their device to a VR viewer such as Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or an inexpensive Cardboard VR headset for viewing.  Cardboard headsets are as inexpensive as $5 on Amazon and fairly easy to assemble. Examples of Western’s 360 videos can be found here.

In addition to 360 virtual reality, the site delivers a host of I-want-to-be-here-now photos in an expanded photo gallery. Site visitors can dip in and out of over 3,000 stories and client reviews/testimonials about what it’s like to be on a river, rafting, and sleeping under the stars.

“Since our inception in 1961, Western River Expeditions has taken immense pride in taking clients down rivers safely while providing an exceptional level of customer service. When the time came to revamp our website, we wanted to tell our unique story while continuing to be a leader in the industry by creating a one-of-a-kind online experience that works and displays brilliantly on all devices,”  notes Lake.

Add to that the fact that, Resmark Interactive was able to help Western River Expeditions achieve a blazing-fast page speed score of 85 (which is quite commendable for an image-rich travel website), and the user experience has been greatly enhanced as well.

Trips on this site are arranged by destination, with duration and price front and center. Along with the launch of the new website the company is introducing its very first foray abroad. New for the 2016 season are river and beach adventures in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica 9 Day Adventure Package is from $3,295 per person double for trips that begin and end in San Jose. The season runs from December through April 2017. Guests (minimum age 12) in paddle boats traverse 16 miles through 38 class III-IV rapids on the Pacuare River bound for a luxurious eco-lodge for candlelit dinners, a canopy adventure and hikes to stunning waterfalls before rafting downriver to the next destination, the base of the towering volcano, Arenal. Here thermally heated waterfalls and pools and a rainforest immersion on 15 suspension bridges surrounded by monkeys, iguanas, sloths and birds, whet appetites for the to-come Manuel Antonio National Park, named one of the world’s most beautiful national parks by Forbes. Here guests can frolic in the sand and surf. See here.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations, visit the enhanced website at www.westernriver.com.

 

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