Using Virtual Reality to bring Scotland to life

The Challenge

VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation, promoting Scotland on a worldwide stage and driving the economic benefits of tourism through advertising.

Scotland has a huge wealth of history and attractions and VisitScotland were looking for an app that would give potential visitors to Scotland the chance to immerse themselves in the country, exploring what it has to offer while giving them the final nudge to book a trip.

Delivering that level of installs in week one is unprecedented for a tourism destination VR app. We’re capturing imaginations with our virtual Scotland and we hope it will inspire users to come experience our great country for real. Thank you to everyone involved, I am really delighted and proud of the product we’ve all created here.

Mark IrwinSenior Brand Manager, Visit Scotland

The Solution

xDesign set out to create a solution that would show Scotland in all of its glory, by designing something that was both immersive and engaging and not restricted by language or geography.

We pitched a Virtual Reality app that would allow mobile app users to explore Scotland’s iconic attractions without having to leave their sofa, before building the app on iOS and Android using the advanced Unity gaming engine.

The platform centres on a stunning 360º environment called The Glen – an interactive, highly-stylised environment that doubles as a portal to further immersive content about Scotland and its attractions and landscape.

Utilising 360 degree cameras, we created bespoke video and photographic content and through Google Daydream and Google Cardboard, enabling users to explore the country virtually.

Going Above and Beyond

We wanted to create a fully immersive experience for Visit Scotland everyone that downloaded the VR app. So we made the app compatible with Google Daydream and Cardboard so that users could slot their phones in and explore and experience a virtual Scotland in a completely unique and immersive way.

The Results

The app was the first of its kind for Scottish tourism. Launched in front of Scottish Ministers and receiving fantastic press coverage and reviews in Forbes, Gizmodo and The Scotsman, the app helped to evolve Visit Scotland’s digital transformation another step.

The app was featured in Apple’s ‘Hot This Week’ chart and on the launch weekend, it garnered more than 10,000 downloads.

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