Touring Hotel Rooms On The Net

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - March 08, 2006
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Rohinita Charan and Dave Tonnes of PanaViz provide virtual tours
Rohinita Charan and Dave Tonnes of PanaViz
provide virtual tours

Rohinita Charan and Dave Tonnes take photos that provide high-definition virtual tours for bed and breakfasts, and hotels. Their company, PanaViz, specializes in providing visual tours of guest rooms.

“People are doing more research online, and visuals help them make up their mind,” explains Charan.

Tonnes notes the virtual tour is made up of several still photos which connect together to create the panoramic view that looks like a video. He invented a device that fits his needs to rotate the camera horizontally and vertically in very precise increments.

Since the company’s inception in 2003, clients include the Makaha Resort, Aloha Bed and Breakfast, and the Mauna Lani Resort. Future plans include approaching more clients locally and across the globe. They already have repeat business as PanaViz also provides analytical information so executives know how many people took the tour, what city the viewer is from, and how much time they spent on the tour.

From the virtual visit, guests can book the room themselves on the Internet. If the hotel goes through a third party for bookings, PanaViz can inform the company on how many people clicked on the “book now” button. More accurate financial statistics can be provided for hotels not using a third party.

“We have anecdotal feedback that customers are getting more bookings with the tours, but the reports we provide give concrete numerical details,” he explains. “We’ve found that the corporations like numbers.”

Word of mouth is how they’ve been getting most of their business - and both agree that referrals are taken very seriously, especially in Hawaii.

One of the challenges they face is getting people to look at their work, and Charan has found that the easiest way to overcome that problem is to send an e-mail with a link. A Fiji native, she is responsible for the client contacts, marketing, website and billing. “We’re constantly innovating on a daily basis,” she says.

Tonnes adds that sometimes finding the right decision maker in the corporation is also a challenge. Originally from Washington state, he handles the photography, viewer technology and image processing.

“We need to stay on top of it as technology and computers are always changing,” he says.

For more information, call 672-0601, or log onto

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