Interview with John Graham
JAX FAX Interview with John Graham President of Travel World VR BG: Perillo Tours is perhaps the top tour operator to Italy. Why would Perillo create Virtual Reality? Isn’t VR a replacement for the real thing,
JAX FAX Interview with John Graham President of Travel World VR
BG: Perillo Tours is perhaps the top tour operator to Italy. Why would Perillo create Virtual Reality? Isn’t VR a replacement for the real thing, travel?
JG: Just the opposite. Virtual Reality is an enticement to see the real thing. It’s 21st technology that brings the site to you – so you can bring yourself there in person. And that’s where Perillo comes in. Virtual Reality is to the 21st century what tour brochures were to the 20th century.
BG: Do you have statistics as to how many tours Perillo has sold via Virtual Reality?
JG: No, but when we release a new VR presentation, we can soon see inquiries going up on the Perillo website. And many potential travelers actually still peruse travel the old-fashioned way – requesting brochures. And according to our call center many people request brochures for the destinations they’ve visited on VR.
BG: How and when did you and Perillo get involved with VR?
JG: It started back in February 2018 with Travel World VR and the EGroup Distribution. I approached Steve Perillo who was already taken with the idea. It was introduced at USTOA in 2019. The first subscribers were 20K travel advisors, then 10K meeting planners and then lastly, consumers.
BG: This professor just learned something fascinating from you. VR for travel advisors and meeting planners inspire others to travel. And VR for consumers are directly inspired to travel themselves. Perillo is also involved in virtual reality for those who will never travel – people in assisted living. At first, I thought that concept was a bit cruel – until you further explained it.
JG: To the contrary people in assisted living go through the same old, same old every day. VR takes them out of their world to new places (even, new old, new old places) they’ve never visited or brings them back to places they really loved. And. surprisingly, when patients at Inglemoor assisted living in Livingston, NJ were recently questioned – many were actually Perillo clients! .Plus, they share the VR with visiting family and/or friends and chances are the friends and family are inspired to visit the actual sites – and with Perillo. So, as you see, it’s a case of doing well by doing good.
BG: I thought the only way you can see Virtual Reality is with expensive goggles/eyeglasses.
JG: Goggles/eyeglasses are the best way to view VR, but they’re no longer expensive – and Perillo actually gives out for free ones upon request.
BG: Where do you see VR a few years from now?
JG: I foresee people who view Virtual Reality in the future calling directly for travel reservations without first asking to see tour brochures.
BG: Virtual Reality and Italy are a match that’s made in heaven – or at least the Vatican. One of Europe’s oldest cities, Rome, puts 21st-century VR to use on many of their sites from Palazzo Valentini — a 21st-century excavation of a an Ancient Roman home discovered near the Roman Forum to Emperor Augustus’’ House and his wife Livia’s on Palatine Hill. John, I want to thank you so much for this interview. Where can our readers reach you for more information?