Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMI Airport) became the first airport in Africa to implement Virtual Reality (VR) technology during September 2015. This incredible technology allows users to have a three-dimensional Airport experience in a 360° interactive format. Using a mobile device together with a compatible VR headset such as Google cardboard, Oculus or Samsung VR Gear, users will be transported to an immersive virtual world at the click of a button, which showcases the Airport and surrounding highlights of the province.

Airport Business Development Manager, Eugene van Jaarsveldt, said: “This technology will open up a new world for marketing South Africa, as well as give tourists a powerful way to preview destinations and experiences within our country. With the assistance of Google photographer, Chris du Plessis, we created a unique production, with one of the virtual 360 scenes being an approach to land at KMI Airport in a cockpit of an aircraft.” van Jaarsveldt said the product had been showcased during the recent World Routes event in Durban, which for the first time in its history spanning 21 years was hosted in Africa. In attendance there were over 230 airlines, almost 700 airports & 150 tourism authorities from 115 different countries.

The response that we received from the major airlines across the globe was overwhelming. “Whether the user wants an immersive 360° virtual tour of our Airport or experience the iconic Kruger National Park it’s a fantastic tool to view our top attractions, inspiring travel and promoting tourism.

“From an Airport perspective, this was a first for Africa. We are delighted to use this industry-leading technology, and what better way to demonstrate the impact this VR technology can have than by showcasing Mpumalanga, one of the world’s most iconic ‘must do’ tourism destinations,” said van Jaarsveldt.