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Sunderland IT Consultancy Partners with EU Accessibility Champions in Virtual Tourism Initiative

 

Author: Kerckhoffs Ltd

Sunderland-based Kerckhoffs Ltd, known for its consultancies in emerging technologies is turning its attention to developing software solutions for Virtual Tourism, in a new partnership with Brussels-based non-profit association ENAT.

In a new partnership with Brussels-based non-profit association, ENAT - the European Network for Accessible Tourism, the Software Centre based company’s latest venture, known as Eyemmersive®, aims to create an innovative Digital Market Place for Immersive Tourism, enabling tourism to be accessible to everybody using Virtual Reality technologies.

With a grant from the EU’s INVITE-Oi2 Lab project, Kerckhoffs will work with ENAT’s accessibility experts and tourist guides to explore how 360 degree videos can bring tourism experiences to new audiences who can enjoy an “immersive” trip to places and attractions that are out of reach, due to travel restrictions, financial, political or access limitations or other reasons. 

ENAT is a Brussels-based, multi-stakeholder, non-profit association of front-runners in the study, promotion and practice of accessible tourism. Its members are drawn from the travel and tourism industry, the public sector, professionals and Non-Governmental Organisations. Kerckhoffs has a long-standing association with ENAT and recently gained Full Member status based on its track record of research and development on technologies for people with disabilities and other travellers with access requirements.

Founder and CEO of Kerckhoffs Ltd.,  Dr. Selvakumar Ramachandran says “Being a Full Member of ENAT will definitely enhance our reputation by joining the world’s leading organisation in the fastest-growing sector of the tourism market. We believe our membership of ENAT will boost the visibility of our organisation as we enter this new collaboration on our innovative VR tourism application, Eyemmersive®. ENAT’s support and expertise will help to boost our activities and outreach at national, European and global levels”.

Company’s Director Vijayalakshmi Subramani says “Our relationship with ENAT gets stronger, ENAT continues to help us to build relationships and forge partnerships with like-minded organisations working in the Accessible Tourism field at national, European and global levels”.

Managing Director of ENAT Mr. Ivor Ambrose says, Our ENAT member,  Kerckhoffs Ltd. came to us with a very timely proposal to venture into Virtual Tourism - something which is all the more relevant, now that a quarter of the world’s population is under some kind of lock-down due to the COVID-19 Virus. Together we will investigate the ways that immersive technologies can satisfy people’s interest in travel and understanding of cultures and places they otherwise cannot reach, using 360 degree videos, filmed and narrated by qualified tourist guides.

Ambrose continues, For most people VR will not be a substitute for real travel but we hope this technology may give people the confidence and eagerness to travel again, once restrictions are lifted. As the travel industry has been badly hit by COVID-19, we see Kerckhoff’s Eyemmersive® platform as an initiative with great potential for travel and tourism providers everywhere, allowing them to reach new customers and and showcase the rich variety of cultural attractions, many of which go unnoticed.

Further information: 

Kerckhoffs Ltd. :  http://kerckhoffs.co.uk/

ENAT asbl :  https://www.accessibletourism.org

INVITE-Oi2 Lab funded project page  : https://www.accessibletourism.org/?i=enat.en.enat_projects_and_good_practices.2171