Rustington mum and daughter’s 360 virtual tours business sees success

A mum and daughter from Rustington have used the lockdown to start an exciting new business venture.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 12:29 pm

Jacqui Twine, 52, and Alexis Tapping, 29, of Capstan Drive, offer 360 virtual tours to shops, restaurants, bars and venues – which, they said, are crucial to businesses at the moment amid the pandemic.

The pair take a series of 360 degree photos with a 360 camera. These images are then edited to show the space as close to reality as possible, enabling a viewer to fully immerse themselves within the space while taking the tour.

And their business – Authentic Virtual Tours – has already enjoyed success locally.

Jacqui Twine and her daughter, Alexis Tapping, with their 360 camera in Rustington. Picture: Steve Robards

“It hasn’t been easy as we started it from scratch but we have had a really good response,” said Jacqui, who also works as an inventory clerk.

“We have had 1,600 views of our photos already, just on Google Street View.”

Jacqui bought the camera to enable her to create virtual viewing for letting agents, but, she said, she soon realised the possibilities for virtual tours were endless, and were the future of the digital world.

“This has become more apparent during the pandemic and would mean even during restrictions customers can view a venue as though it is open 24/7,” she added.

Jacqui Twine and Alexis Tapping outside Mia Bella Casa, Rustington. Picture: Steve Robards

Once the basic tour is created, Jacqui and Alexis usually have a Zoom video call with the venue’s owner and share their screen, so they can view the tour at their end. They then discuss the tour content and any information they can add to best display their venue and so visitors can book a table or buy directly from watching the tour.

Prior to the lockdown, Alexis was a full-time singer and is well known in the community for singing in nursing homes and events all over Sussex since she was 14.

Businesses Jacqui and Alexis have already produced virtual tours for include Mia Bella Casa in Rustington Pier Road Coffee & Art in Littlehampton and The Lunch Hut in Rustington.

Authentic Virtual Tours’ website – www.authentic360virtualtours.co.uk – is still under construction and is expected to launch in the next few weeks.

Jacqui Twine and Alexis Tapping in Mia Bella Casa, Rustington. Picture: Steve Robards