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Robert Nunez is the founder and owner of Interactive Web Tours in Bellingham.
BELLINGHAM

Let Robert Nunez be your guide. Your virtual guide, that is.

As founder and owner of Interactive Web Tours in Bellingham, Nunez incorporates 360-degree-panoramic photography techniques to provide customers a detailed, intimate look and feel for the places they're considering for their vacation, honeymoon, business trip or even their bowling excursion. It's the next best thing to checking the place out in person, and clearly more affordable and less time-consuming.

During these tours, every nook and cranny of a property appears to come to life, from the chandelier to the carpeting, as users can move their digital neck up, down and side to side. For businesses like bed and breakfasts, inns and hotels, whose currency is atmospheric, virtual tours can be invaluable.

"Taking a look around" takes on new meaning with an ability to view and showcase each room and section of a property. The high-quality imaging can offer such details as the texture of vintage wallpaper and the quality of grass on the front lawn. The zoom feature provides even closer inspection.

"Online booking dominates the hospitality industry and most properties currently have limited visuals to help the potential guest to immerse themselves," says Nunez. "Our panoramic techniques make the online visitor feel as if they are doing an actual walk-through of each property and gives them the ability to make an informed decision." Over the past few years, technologies and software have advanced to the point where they have become marketing tools. "I am now able to create software that is viewable on any mobile devices, be it iPpads, iPhones or Android systems. They can also be customized with interactive maps, buttons that link to your reservation page and so much more," adds Nunez.

In addition to creating "wow" factor for a website, virtual tours can be added to Facebook and other social media and included in Constant Contact and other email campaigns. It can also be used as a link when confirming reservations and as a tool to upgrade guests to higher-priced rooms.

Audio playback further immerses the Web viewer by detailing historical background, cultural lore or nearby entertainment.

Clients include Bellevue Manor in Newport, R.I.; Connecticut River Valley Inn in Glastonbury, Conn.; Thayer Inn in Littleton, N.H.; and Mira Monte Inn in Bar Harbor, Maine. A recent Nunez client is PiNZ Entertainment in Milford, which houses a bowling alley and the Blue Dog Sports Bar & Grille.

"We have brought panoramic photography to a new level for the hospitality industry," says Nunez. "We know how to stage, professionally light and enhance guest rooms, dining rooms and other property components. Most photo shoots take approximately one day and the cost is far less than most property owners and managers would guess." Pricing begin at $950. Viewing the site is free.