Episode 122

Why Xplorit Grew Significantly in 2020Greg Murtha

About Our Guest

Greg Murtha

In this episode of the Destination Marketing Podcast, Greg Murtha, President of XplorIt Virtual Travel, joins us to talk about some revolutionary technology in the travel and tourism industry. Listen to learn how virtual reality options for destinations have changed over time, as well as how your destination might be able to benefit from what XplorIt has to offer.

"We live in an experience economy, so how do you bring those experiences to life? How do you make people really want it?" -Greg Murtha

Episode Highlights

  • Name: Adam Stoker
  • Position: Co-founder and CEO of Relic
  • Favorite Destination: Fiji
  • Dream Destination: New Zealand
  • Name: Greg Murtha
  • Position: President/Founder/Inventor XplorIt Virtual Travel
  • Favorite Destination: Austria
  • Dream Destination: Africa

“Why Xplorit Grew Significantly in 2020” – Show Notes and Highlights

 

Show Highlights:

  • XplorIt pioneers a new evolution on nonlinear media. To create a visual experience that is dynamic and entertaining and immersive that’s completely interconnected. 
  • XplorIt technology takes interconnected experiences and leverage partners’ immersive storytelling content, video content, images, PDFs and live cams. 
  • Users don’t have to open and close numerous files to travel around virtually.
  • COVID had accelerated the demand for a virtual product to be able to showcase a destination. Six of the top 10 largest destinations in the US uses XplorIt technology.
  • XplorIt gives the user a sense of place and perspective.
  • Seamless and easily integrated so the content can remain very timely and relevant during the COVID pandemic. 
  • XplorIt translates into 107 different languages. 
  • Consumers chomping for something that’s entertaining and immersive, and engaging and game-like. 
  • Creating evergreen assets like virtual experiences might be one of the most valuable things to do as a destination. 
  • Destinations should make content entertaining and captivate imagination.

 

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast:

Episode Transcript

Greg Murtha: [00:00:00] You know, we live in an experience economy. How do you bring those experiences to life? I mean, how do you make people really want it? Inspire people that make them want that travel experience that they’ve always wanted to have and make them want it more than ever. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:00:20] Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Destination Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Adam Stoker. We’ve got another great show for you today. We’ve got our friend Greg Murtha, and Greg is from XplorIt. Greg, welcome to the show.

 

Greg Murtha: [00:00:34] Adam, thanks for having me. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:00:35] Yeah, we’re excited to have you. You’ve got some interesting products that will be discussing today, and you’ve definitely made an impact on the industry. And during COVID it’s proven to be a very interesting technology, so we’ll get through all of those things. But before we dive in too far, I like to ask a couple of ice breaker questions at the beginning of the show. So the first question I have for you is what is your dream destination, Greg? If you go anywhere in the world where would it be? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:01:04] That’s a tough one, Adam. I’ve got to travel pretty extensively, but I guess I’ve been through Europe and all over the US. I guess Africa would be probably tops on my bucket list and go into the Savannah and see some of the incredible wildlife. I think that would be probably my trip of a lifetime. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:01:21] Yeah, Africa is a good answer. And it’s a unique destination. It’s one of those that seems like so high adventure that there’s a kind of a barrier to travel there where some people are a little afraid to be in the Savannah with all these big, amazing animals. My question for you as you think about going to Africa, who do you take? Who would be excited about going and seeing these amazing things that you wouldn’t necessarily see here in the United States?

 

Greg Murtha: [00:01:48] That would have to be my lovely wife, Laura. She’s a nurse, and she’s been through a lot with COVID, and she’s just a fabulous traveler and a great lady and just it’s been hard being in traveling tourism and then having your spouse in health care and going through all this stuff just puts everything into perspective, I think. And so it absolutely would be my lovely wife, Laura. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:02:14] Yeah, she needs a break, doesn’t she? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:02:17] She does. She’s had a rough year. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:02:20] I bet. I bet. Well, you know what? Taking your wife is always the right answer for an amazing trip. And so I’m glad you chose her. Let’s talk about if you were to go to Africa, do you know people that have been and is there a specific experience do you want to see lions or is there a specific animal you’re chasing, or is it just the great unknown? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:02:43] We’ve been actually talking to Botswana tourism about doing a whole safari, a virtual experience safari through the Savannah and doing my research for that project. I really became intrigued with Botswana as a country, so I think I would probably put Botswana at the top of my list right now. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:03:05] I like it. Okay. Okay. Good stuff. Well, tell me, Greg, how about trips you’ve been on? What’s one of your favorite trips you’ve ever taken? I know you’re well-traveled, so that’s not an easy answer. And I want to make sure all your clients know that you’re not picking favorites here. But I would love to hear an example of a great trip you’ve taken. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:03:22] I was fortunate enough to get to watch a good friend of mine, Darren Ralphs, when The Super Bowl of ski racing, The Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuhel, Austria. And he was the first American to win the event in 43 years. The last American was Buddy Warner. And so it was a really monumental day for America, and I was fortunate to be one of a small handful of Americans that was there to watch him make history. And Austria is such a beautiful, beautiful country. Love to go back again. I’ve been there several times again. Love to go back. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:04:01] You’re painting a pretty incredible picture of an experience here where it’s already kind of in everybody’s DNA to root for the underdog, right? But then to be one of the few people in there from the country that wins, and not only that but to know the winner personally, that’s a lot of interesting factors to create an unforgettable experience. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:04:23] It really was quite honestly, Adam. And to make it even better Darren’s such a great friend that he actually gave me his winning bid from the haunting com, which I was totally honored to have them hang in my house. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:04:37] What a memento to remind you of that experience every time you walk by it. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:04:43] Yeah, I mean, he’s the winningest downhiller in US history. So when you combined travel with historical things that happened, I’m not sure you can really beat that. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:04:52] No. And I’ll tell you, I definitely can’t. And I can’t imagine that there’s anyone that can. I mean what a unique trip. Well, that’s good. Good to learn some about you, Greg. And good to hear that you would take your wife on your dream destination. I think that’s good, but she’d love to hear that. Maybe we should hurry and release this right before Valentine’s Day so that you can show her. “Hey, see, I would take you.” 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:05:14] think she already knows that, but thanks. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:05:17] That’s good. That’s good. See, I think my wife would be a little afraid that I would choose a golf trip, but I would. I would take her too. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:05:26] There you go. Good answer. Good answer. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:05:30] Well, let’s dive in, Greg. I’d love to Have you start by just telling us a little bit about your background and maybe how you ended up in the tourism business. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:05:38] Right. Well, I grew up in our outside of New York City, and my dad was an admin madman and advertising in New York City and grew up skiing in Vermont and had a lifelong passion for skiing and went to the University of New Hampshire, got into the ski business and was actively involved in snow skiing for 20, almost 30 years of my life, serving as the director of marketing at a number of different ski resorts throughout Lake Tahoe in the country. 

 

And during the course of my career, we were looking to try to figure out how to create more engaging ways to captivate the consumer’s imagination. We’re right at the beginning of the advent of live webcams and 360 imagery, and I had basically created the very first interactive ski area trail map, and I took a static trail map, and I was able to pinpoint the exact locations of our webcams and to put different promotional videos in about our ski school in a couple of 360 spherical images from around the mountain. And that project subsequently won the National Skiers Association Digital Marketing Award for that year. 

 

Got approached to really pioneer a new evolution on what we like to call nonlinear media, which is sort of when you look at sort of the way media has been distributed, you watch a video, you read a book, you listen to a podcast. You see it from start to finish, and there’s not an opportunity to engage or interact or change your course of travel or see a different adventure. So, along the course of our travels, we really work to try to figure out how we could create a visual experience that was dynamic and entertaining and immersive to the point where it was completely interconnected so that you didn’t open and close of series of different videos or open and close a series of different 360 photos, but an experience that actually immersed you into a destination like you’ve never seen before. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:07:57] How cool, Greg and to hear that it came from hey let’s create an interactive trail map at a ski resort to come full circle to now we’re creating interactive virtual reality experiences for destinations, that shows the innovation that’s happening in your company that you’re expanding and expanding your product set before we dive more into your company, though. I’m hearing that you’ve got a real passion for skiing on and it sounds like that’s something that stuck with you throughout your life. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:08:30] It has. I live in Lake Tahoe, California. A small town called Truckee, California, and had been an avid skier. Was in the snow skiing business my entire life, and my son skied NCAA division 1. Got an NCAA ski scholarship. Yeah, we’re mountain people. My kids, three boys hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail two summers ago. The first three brothers to ever do the whole PCT 2650 miles, and this summer they’re doing the 3100 mile Continental Divide Trail. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:09:02] How cool! Well, so let me ask you a question then because I’m obviously based here in Utah. I got to know if our license plates are telling the truth. Where is the greatest snow on earth? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:09:15] I love your skiing. And I got to tell you, I’ve had some epic days. Alta, Snowbird, Park City. Greatest snow on earth. That’s right up there, that’s for sure. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:09:27] That’s a very diplomatic and acceptable answer there. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:09:33] I love — I believe I love skiing in Utah. I have many, many fond memories of skiing in Utah. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:09:39] Yeah, you know, we would like to get a little bit more snow this year than we’ve gotten so far. It feels like it’s kind of been skipping over us compared to most years this year. But yeah, in the good years it’s hard to beat it. Well, let’s talk about XplorIt, though. Greg. You guys obviously have gotten into interactive experiences. If you could describe your product set in a way that destinations can easily understand it, what would you say? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:10:07] Right. Most people have probably seen Google Street view where you go Click sphere, Click sphere, Clicks sphere, well we have my chief technology and I, Doug Ryan and I have the two U. S. Patents for what’s called Interconnected 360 Virtual Travel. And what that does is it connects sphere A to sphere B with 360 videos. So instead of going click, click, click, you can travel from one relevant destination to another. You may be outside over the Mosconi Convention Center and you want to walk in and see the $500 million in renovations that San Francisco travel just did. Or you may want to see what it’s like to be at Walt Disney World in Florida, and you can actually click and stroll down Main Street to Cinderella’s Castle just as if you’re there in first person. We take those interconnected experiences and we leverage our partners’ immersive storytelling content, their video content, images, PDFs, live cams and we take this into what we believe to be the richest multimedia experience on the web. 

 

So the user doesn’t have to open and close numerous files. They can travel around, someone may go to Orlando, Florida, and say, “Well, I’m interested in a vacation for the kids, so I may want to look at Disney or Universal or SeaWorld.” While a meeting planner may say, “Well, I’m interested in bringing a large event to Orlando, and I need to see what the convention center campus looks like and where the major hotels and proximity to the Orange County Convention Center.” So it really brings all those tools together in what we believe to be the most active sales presentations on the web. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:12:03] You know, Greg, as you’re describing what it is that your product does, I imagine that while COVID was a very difficult experience for so many in the industry, it had to have accelerated the demand for a virtual product like yours to be able to showcase a destination. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:12:23] It really has, Adam. Now we have 6 of the top 10 largest destinations in the United States using our technology. Los Angeles Tourism was our very first Darren Green, senior [00:12:38] LA Tourism was one of the very first adopters. San Francisco Travel, New Orleans, Visit Orlando, we’re just going live with our newest experience for Visit Anaheim next week, and then we start Visit Las Vegas next month. We’re doing stuff for destinations large and small. We’re doing Coastal Mississippi we have Stockton California. We’re in negotiation to do the entire coast with San Luis Obispo. We’re talking to Reno, Tahoe. There’s a lot of people that are really looking at how do you bring your destination to life and make it experiential so it’s fun for the visitor. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:13:18] Yeah, and the fact that you are able to allow someone to almost experience a destination without going there first, it seems to me like it could change the way people are making their travel decisions in the future. If they’re able to actually go in and have a sensory experience on their own, and when I say sensory, it’s because it feels like you’re there that they’ll be able to make a much more educated decision and expectations can be much more aligned for the visitor versus what happens when they arrived because they’ve been able to actually explore it instead of just reading about it. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:14:00] That’s absolutely true. I mean, like, just a case in point within some of our new work for Visit Anaheim, I mean, some people maybe they’ve never been to Orange County before and you may think, “Oh, you know what’s right next to the beach?” And if you go through the new Visit Anaheim experience we’re about to release, you’ll see that you actually click on a button and you have to fly in Google Earth and you can see that it’s a distance between where Anaheim is and where the coast is. So it gives the user a sense of place and perspective so that they understand, okay, Anaheim is slightly inbound from the coast. And if I’m going to go to Huntington Beach, then I’m going to tow plan on driving. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:14:40] Yep, yep. That makes perfect sense. Well, when we come back from this break, I’d like to talk a little bit more about convention centers and other group opportunities, because I think there’s a unique angle here for us to discuss with destinations. So let’s take a quick break and we’ll come back and chat about it. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:14:57] That sounds great. Thanks. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:14:59] Most of you know by now that I own an advertising agency called Relic. We specialize in tourism. I’ve got to say I’ve seen far too many situations over the last several months of destinations who were in difficult situations because of not only COVID but their agency partner’s inability to support them during COVID. There were a lot of different reasons why that was the case. Maybe some agencies had to cut staff or COVID affected so many different businesses in so many different ways. Another thing that I’m seeing is a lot of destination budgets are getting cut. As a result, they’re getting a different level of service from their agency partner. The problem I keep seeing is that these destinations now are behind the eight ball on being able to work on their recovery campaigns or launch their recovery campaigns or see things start to improve because they have the wrong agency partner. 

 

I’ve seen this too many times. If you are interested in having us review your current situation and take a look at what it’s going to take strategically for you to be able to set yourself up for success and set your destination up for success as we come out of COVID. Please let me know. My email is adam@relicagency.com. Anyone that’s listening, I will give you a half-hour of my time along with certain members of my team, to make sure that we can give you the best shot at being successful in 2021.

 

[00:16:31] Okay, Greg, we were talking about creating these virtual experiences for destinations. And as I look at convention centers and the way that they’re going to use a product like this or a sports complex, we’re going to show it off to a potential tournament or sporting event that’s going to come into our destination. The ability for them to experience that is one level. But then also, the ability to demonstrate the safety measures that have been taken in the destination in this format has got to be a real differentiator for destinations that can show the experience and also how many sanitizing stations are there. And how are we social distancing? And that type of thing can be demonstrated in this type of an experience. Am I my understanding that correct?

 

Greg Murtha: [00:17:24] That’s absolutely correct. I mean, we’ve been working a case in point with the new Visit Anaheim experiences. We just shot everything and we took the COVID signage and stuff out of the imagery so that we would not date the imagery itself. But we will have the ability to have their latest destination updates. They’re going to give the consumer the latest information on what’s going on with COVID protocols within the Anaheim area that could be seamlessly and easily integrated, so the content can remain very, very timely and relevant during this time. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:18:07] That makes a lot of sense. I’ve had a lot of clients that at different times they’ll say, “Hey, I like the way you structured your product. But what if you did this? What if you did that?” And do you have clients that are asking for those types of customizations to your product or is the product fairly, I don’t want to make this sound like a negative, but is it fairly rigid and or is it malleable to the type of thing that you could do there?

 

Greg Murtha: [00:18:34] We’ve been in business for 12 years, and we have never ever stopped asking our clients what they want and what they need, and we have evolved literally everything that we’ve done. I mean, we talk to our clients early on and they said, “You know what? Headsets or not that big of a deal. We really need mobile.” And so we literally focused for two years on our mobile deployment. We really we list our clients said we need an active sales solution. The problem was is that when their people are going to the convention center websites and they’re looking at a floor plan. Maybe it’s a tilt-up concept 3D floor plan. Or maybe you got to click through dozens and dozens of threshold 360 images to try to get a new idea of a place. We basically took all of that content and created one seamless immersive experience so that we can take the client’s existing sales content. We can take their promotional materials. We could take their COVID protocols. All that information can be seamlessly updated. We have a complete back end with a new user interface that allows the clients to log in and make simple edits to texts and upload video files. 

 

We can now translate into 107 different languages. And we’re also just rolling out a new, integrated live video conference feed where you could do one-on-one presentations across the country and literally walk people through your meeting space. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:20:16] Oh, how cool. Yeah, I’m excited for that one to watch. Maybe I want to come back to that one in just a moment. I know that when destinations are trying a new product or trying a new experience or testing something out, sometimes they get half in half out and they don’t do the full experience and end up kind of being a waste. Right? So if a destination is thinking about creating a virtual experience for either a conference center or sports complex or even for the destination, what are some kind of things to watch out for when you’re thinking about doing something like this? Like, how does a destination get their ducks in a row before they come to you? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:21:00] Well, I think one of the simplest things is to really do just an honest evaluation of what the community has to offer. If you’ve got a really strong meeting offering, then we have people that come in and they’ll go ahead and run with their meetings program first. We have other clients and say, “Look, our FIT offering is stronger and we really want to go ahead and bring our theme parks and attractions and our golf courses and our recreational facilities to the forefront.” So it’s really about what are the key attributes the community has that they want to sell that put their best foot forward. Then we basically create custom experiences. 

 

Again, it’s more about really trying to engage someone because we’re right now we’re averaging between six and nine minutes of online engagement, which is an eternity on the web. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:21:56 Right. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:21:57] Were basically doubling and quadrupling people’s time on site. It’s just really hard to sell someone unless they’re engaged. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:22:05] Yeah, Greg, it seems to me like the idea of doing a clear evaluation beforehand and prioritizing the experiences that should be made virtual prior to making that phone call is probably a good exercise to go through. Let’s talk a little bit about once we’ve created these assets, these virtual experiences, this is where we start to get into my realm a little bit here of marketing, like, what’s the best way that you’ve seen that a destination has taken what you’ve done and really done a good job of distributing it correctly? Are there examples that you’ve seen where somebody’s done a really good job of, “Okay, now we spent the money to do this. We’re showcasing it now.” 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:22:51] Right. I would say that there’s I could call it a number of different examples. I would say the earliest one was Darren Green with LA Tourism, saying he wanted a new interactive sales presentation to go to all of his major travel trade shows with. I would say that we’ve got clients like Visit Orlando, who’ve got a huge 100 plus inch touch screen monitor in their visitor center as part of an interactive virtual display that people could fly around Orlando. We’ve had clients like Nevada Mining who have done airport kiosks within the Reno Tahoe Airport as an educational tool so that people would understand that Nevada is number three in the world in gold production. 

 

We have clients like Visit Orlando who just was relentless quite frankly in the opening of the pandemic and had over 300,000 visitors spend close to 25,000 hours engaged in in the technology, and that was because they knew they had an incredible product and they promoted it vigorously in their social media and all their promotional materials. And they had incredible incredible engagement through the beginning of the pandemic throughout the whole pandemic. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:24:13] Interesting. Okay, so those are some unique use cases, and to me, it sounds like there’s not just a template of how to do it. There’s a lot of innovation happening on the destination side. I love the idea of that touch screen in the visitor center where people can have that experience. You’re talking to a lot of destinations right now, Greg. What are you seeing? What are people dealing with right now that you feel like maybe it would help all the destinations listening to know? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:24:43] Well, I mean, we’ve lost a lot of good friends as I’m sure you have yourself. They’ve lost their jobs and furloughed and terminated. And it’s a difficult time right now. And DMOs were trying to figure out how do we get back into people’s heads and how do we create that desire for visitation? I think there’s anxiety in travel. I think there’s pent-up demand but I also think there’s anxiety. And I think that one of the things that we do is to show and familiarize yourself helps alleviate some of that anxiety before you travel. Say, “Okay now, I kind of know what I’m getting into. I can kind of see the lay of the land. I kind of know where I want to go. I’ve always wanted to go there,” just to give people a really good visual representation of what a destination looks like and let them do the exploring for themselves and make them want to go. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:25:40] So I think you’re right especially like we’ve alluded to a few times like with COVID and everything that’s happened with COVID, there’s never been a better time to create these virtual experiences, but that brings us back to it’s been a difficult time for destinations, and it’s difficult to come up with an extra budget to do something like this. I don’t necessarily want you to say what your prices are or anything like that. But what I’m kind of getting at is why should destinations prioritize allocating budget for this type of experience or expense right now compared to when things are up and things were good? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:26:21] Well, I think the dynamic has changed, and I think people are looking — I mean destinations need a more active sales presentation. It has to jump off the page better than the little 22nd splash video and the pages and pages directory listings. I think that their consumers really chomping for something that’s entertaining and immersive, and engaging and game-like. I think one of the best things that was ever said about us was advertising aid said it was so game-like. It feels like a gaming experience instead of a sales pitch, and that’s really what we try to do is make it fun and I guess if you look at most websites that I would ask you to look at your website and say, “Is this fun and entertaining?” I guess that’s all. Just a simple, honest question. Does this really engage me? 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:27:14] Yeah. You know, Greg, I did a webinar yesterday with Connect Travel, and I had a great group of panelists on with me. We talked about how in a time that you can’t, and some destinations can, some destinations can’t right now. But in a time that a lot of destinations air unable to do outbound advertising or direct response advertising, you don’t just sit on your laurels and wait for the crisis to be over. One of the best things that you can do is build as much momentum as possible for when things start to open up again, for when it’s safe to advertise your destination again. 

 

One of the things that we talked about in that webinar is the importance of creating content right now because that content is evergreen. You place an ad, I do advertising. I’m not preaching against doing advertising, but when you run an ad that ad, you get the touch and then the ad is gone. It’s run its course. However, when you create a piece of content like this, that content is evergreen. And so if you spend the money on that, it has a much, much longer shelf life than maybe one specific advertisement. And so, in a time when it’s very difficult to allocate budget to outbound advertising, creating assets like these virtual experiences might be one of the most valuable things that you can do. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:28:36] I firmly believe that. I mean, again, LA Tourism has been doing this for 12 years, and we still have some of our original content from 12 years ago that we’re running with. I mean, most of these major convention centers and urban areas, don’t change that much. I mean, we just did the Superdome in New Orleans, and I mean, they’re going to maybe put a few new banners up. But the Superdome is going to be the Superdome. That content, the actual experience of being in there is not going to change. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:29:04] Yep. Yep. Totally agree. Well, Greg, like I said, you see kind of a holistic view of the industry, right? You talk to a lot of destinations. If you were to boil it down to your most important piece of advice for destinations right now, what would that be? 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:29:22] I would say, make it entertaining and captivate their imagination. And it’s hard to do. That’s really what we’ve been we’ve been working on, is trying to figure out how do you entertain and delight the customer and a destination, and that’s really been our single focus for 12 years, and we’re still working on it. We got more to do, but we believe we’re pretty far ahead of the curve compared to everybody else. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:29:47] Well, it’s the reason that I wanted to have you on is because I feel like content right now is one of the most important things that a destination could be working on. And you guys are creating — I feel like it almost sounds like this whole thing has been a sales pitch for XplorIt, and that’s not my intention. My intention is to bring a really amazing opportunity and piece of technology so that destinations understand that in a time when you need to be working on some of these things, what are great resources to do that and you guys obviously provide a great resource for people to be able to create that content that’s going to help them when things start to open back up. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:30:27] Yeah, I appreciate that. I mean, I’m not trying to make this sound like an ad pitch, either but I mean, I will tell you though that one of my really early inspirations were was Joe Pine and James Gilmore that wrote the Experience Economy back in 1999. And it’s really about we live in an experience economy, and it’s how do you bring those experiences to life? I mean, how do you make people really want it? I remember when we first started people are going, “Oh, if you show them too much, they’re not going to want to go,” and I’m like it’s all it is. It’s inspirational. Make inspire people. Make them want that travel experience that they’ve always wanted to have and make them want it more than ever. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:31:12] Yeah, I agree with you wholeheartedly, Greg. You’ll never replace the actual experience. I don’t think that’s ever going to be a destination’s intent when they create these types of experiences. So the idea, “Hey, if we show them too much, they might not come,” that either means we’re targeting the wrong people or we’ve got some improvements to make in our experience. But we definitely are not going to detract people from coming to the destination by showing them the destination. If anything, we’re setting the expectations more effectively than ever. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:31:45] We think so. We’ve seen the dynamic change. We will have a lot fewer people telling us if they see it. They’re not going to want to go. I think people are kind of realize that it just makes it inspirational for them, and hopefully, they’ll throw their credit cards down. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:32:00] Great. Well, Greg, tell us how people can get a hold of you if they want to learn more about some of these virtual experiences that you guys are working on right now. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:32:09] Yeah, I mean, you can check out our work and xplorit.com. That’s X-P-L-O-R-I-T dot com. I’m Greg at xplorit.com, and you can see some of the fun stuff that we’ve got up there now. We’ve got Orlando and New Orleans and a bunch of other great destinations Yosemite National Park and just some really fun places to go travel to and Visiting Anaheim will be up shortly and Visit Las Vegas a little bit thereafter, and Coastal Mississippi is coming up too. 

 

Adam Stoker: [00:32:41] Well, that’s great. Greg. Thank you so much for coming on for sharing your experience, your knowledge and some of your products with us today. 

 

Greg Murtha: [00:32:49] Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. 

Adam Stoker: [00:32:52] Well hey, thank you. And thanks to everyone for listening. This has been a great episode. And if you enjoyed today’s content, please make sure to leave us a rating or a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. I promise it makes a difference for us on the show. Other than that we’ll see you next week.