Wellington launches world-first virtual reality 'destination brochure' to attract tourists, workers

It’s the capital city like you’ve never seen it before.

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WellTown gives players a chance to experience Wellington’s cultural and natural scene. Source: 1 NEWS

In what’s believed to be a world first, Wellington’s turned itself into a virtual reality game in a bid to entice people to visit, work, play, and even live.

In WellTown, players experience a mix of Wellington’s cultural and natural scenes, busking on Cuba Street or admiring a southern right whale under the harbour.

They can also sling coffees at zombified commuters outside the central train station, reviving them with a burst of energy.

The game is supposed to help Wellington stand out on the international stage, said Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency’s general manager, Anna Calver.

“Cities all around the world are trying to compete for people who're going to help grow their economy, so whether it's visitors, international students, workers - particularly tech workers," she said. "And in comparison to most of those places, Wellington is pretty small so we've got to do things differently to stand out.

“We're thinking of it really as the most high-tech form of a destination brochure.”

The game cost $300,000 – about the same as a winter advertisement campaign – to create, she said.

WellTown is available to download for free on Oculus and Steam for players with a compatible headset. It had been downloaded more than 750 times by 8pm on the day it launched.