SHANGHAI , Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ZANADU, China's premium lifestyle travel platform, officially revealed its cutting-edge Travel Experience Space, located at Shanghai Village. This is the first VR travel concept store in the world and the largest travel store in China, combining 360 degree virtual reality travel experiences with digital POS terminals as well as a seamless integration of mobile application, e-commerce and social media. The Space demonstrates the future of travel, from how we experience travel inspiration and retrieve information, to how we choose and purchase our vacations and bespoke journeys.
The highlight of the ZANADU Travel Experience Space is a collection of high-end cinematic Virtual Reality films, showcasing some of the world's most amazing hotels, destinations and activities. Guests are able to fly around the world and experience their favourite travel destinations before they make an actual booking. To make sure guests won't feel dizzy or uncomfortable, ZANADU uses the premium Samsung Gear head mounted displays in combination with Samsung Galaxy S7 phones to showcase the virtual reality travel experiences. These headsets are stylish and comfortable and provide excellent visual effects. "Our VR films work as a teaser, which provide travelers with a virtual experience of what the real vacation could be like. They can immerse themselves into spectacular destinations, living in luxury resorts, explore the wonders of the world and learn everything about their next adventure, before they actually go there. And then they can purchase travel products that are beautifully curated on our website and App," said Dirk Eschenbacher, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of ZANADU.
After the VR experience, guests can continue to browse through travel inspiration and information on 20 interactive destination cubes. Each cube features a digital book, in which guests can browse through ZANADU's luxury travel products in that particular destination, ranging from boutique and design hotels, to private villas, domestic short trips, luxury packages, bespoke journeys and high-end cruises. Every product is linked to ZANADU's WeChat account. Guests have instant access to product details and pricing for online booking by themselves, or talk to a travel consultant to make the booking.
Themed around a digital balloon journey, the ZANADU Travel Experience Space is made up of hundreds of physical pixels, creating the atmosphere of a cyberspace. At the centre of the Space is the VR experience stage, with 5 gigantic balloons suspended in air. Beside the 20 destination cubes with the digital books, other cubes are made of leather, grass and colourful glasses. Cubes in the air represent digital clouds.
In conjunction with the Grand Opening of the Travel Experience Space, ZANADU also released the inaugural issue of the ZANADU Travel Life magazine, a high-end travel and life-style magazine that bears ZANADU's hallmark of quality and taste. The magazine is a subscription for ZANADU's members, and is distributed to premium and luxury hotels and venues. It features top-quality editorials on the word's most stunning destinations, in-depth interviews of the current tastemakers of society (in the first issue, ZANADU talked to Wang Sicong, Chen Man and Da Dong), insider-information on the latest travel trends and offerings. The magazine also innovates in the way it blends the offline and online world together. Through unique QR codes on every page of the magazine, a travel booking is always just a scan away. The magazine goes beyond its offline existence; it seamless integrates quality editorials with ZANADU's e-commerce engine and online booking capability.
As recognition of ZANADU's business model and achievements so far, Prometheus Capital, with Chinese billionaire Wang Sicong as the Chairman, has recently confirmed investment into ZANADU. This has been another major financial investment following the strategic investment of Tencent at the end of 2015.
"The ZANADU Travel Experience Space opens the door to the future of travel. It is a revolutionary innovation in Travel Retail industry, and a milestone breakthrough for ZANADU after the launch of the Travel VR App," said Zan Wu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ZANADU. "As the leading luxury travel expert in China, we are committed to developing new and creative travel products that resonate with the discerning Chinese luxury travelers, as well as producing more exciting travel content that will be shown in our WeChat channel, the newly launched ZANADU Travel Life magazine, the Travel Experience Space, and in traditional video format as well as VR. The launch of the first issue of the ZANADU Travel Life magazine is a further extension of ZANADU's media outreach. In creating a category-leading magazine in terms of design and content that also seamlessly blends with ZANADU's e-commerce platform, we are innovating the traditional magazine format. The investment from Wang Sicong's Prometheus Capital also brings unique strategic resources and alliance. We are excited to collaborate with Wang on developing travel related IP and further build up our media assets in the future. This investment further enhances ZANADU's strong and diverse investor base that includes Tencent and Matrix."
ZANADU is China's No. 1 online travel agency and lifestyle content platform. It's dedicated to creating bespoke holiday experience, providing top-notch service with experienced travel consultants and diversified product range, as well as sharing the most advanced travel concept and lifestyle information for the discerning Chinese travelers seeking an authentic, curated travel experience. Ever since its establishment, ZANADU has been advocating "Life with A Story, Travel with A Style". The travel products include bespoke holidays, flexible overseas trips, short-leasing of some of the most beautiful villas in the world, luxury cruise, booking of top-class boutique hotels, short domestic trips, as well as unique VR experiences. As of today, ZANADU has developed into a platform with the largest and the most luxury product lines. From 2014 to 2016, ZANADU has been listed over Hurun Report's Top 10 Most Popular Luxury Travel Agency in Greater China. And ZANADU was the only premier travel brand who won the 2015 Conde Nast Traveler China's "Readers' Choice" Award.
In the meantime, as a lifestyle content provider, ZANADU has a following of over 500,000 elite fans with its website, official WeChat account, as well as quarterly magazine ZANADU Travel Life, providing content covering travel, lifestyle, gastronomy experience, design and trend. In addition, ZANADU works with creative talents for VR and 2D video content. ZANADU is the No. 1 VR content producer, and the winner of the Best VR Film at the HTC VIVE VR Content competition. In August, 2016, ZANADU officially launched the ZANADU Travel Life magazine. During 2nd-half of the year, ZANADU is going to launch its travel community APP, sharing and exploring some of the best travel destinations in the world. The ZANADU Travel Experience Space is the largest VR experience space in the world.
Before the investment from Prometheus Capital, ZANADU received investment from Matrix, as well as RMB82 million from Tencent at the end of 2015.