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Metaverse and Hospitality: Everything You Need to Know

January 9, 2024

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Metaverse is a space to think beyond the physical world and dive into a world of technology that resonates with reality, including virtual and augmented reality.

As hotel operators and entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry begin to explore the possibilities of this new technology, it is becoming an increasingly imperative part of the hotel marketing plan.

Metaverse and hospitality are entering the phase to redefine the immersive experience of how hotels communicate, share, and engage with their customers.

With its potential to generate up to $5 trillion by 2030, the metaverse is too big to ignore.  Hoteliers should take the plunge and dip their toes into the Metaverse.

This blog will explore everything you need to know about Metaverse and hospitality.

  • What is Virtual Hospitality?
  • How can Hotels use the Metaverse?
    • Virtual Hotel Experiences
    • Virtual Concierge Services
    • Virtual Meetings and Conferences
    • Virtual Dining Experiences
    • Virtual Events and Entertainment
  • Hospitality Brands Using the Metaverse
  • Challenges and Opportunities in Virtual Hospitality

What is Virtual Hospitality?

As the technology in hospitality continues evolving, the metaverse represents an opportunity to engage customers in new ways.

Virtual hospitality is a concept revolutionizing service delivery in the digital age. It involves providing hospitality services within virtual or augmented reality spaces, creating immersive and personalized experiences.

Virtual hospitality is a new way of connecting with potential customers, delivering a sense of inclusion and real-time activity.

In virtual hospitality, every asset, process, or person can be replicated and connected, resulting in a digital place where services can be provided digitally first before they do so in the physical setting.

Imagine entering a virtual hotel, attending events, or enjoying a virtual dining experience, all within a digital landscape. Metaverse in Hospitality transcends physical constraints, enabling the guests to receive warm hospitality in virtual spaces.

How can Hotels use the Metaverse?

The possibilities of using the Metaverse in the hotel industry are endless.

The emerging metaverse, a digital world, presents promising opportunities that hoteliers can leverage to attract hotel customers. Metaverse has the potential to drive utility, engagement, and loyalty.

Most importantly, it is essential to connect with guests even when they are not physically present at the establishment.

Here are some critical applications of the Metaverse for hotels:

Virtual Hotel Experiences

Metaverse hotel is the future.

Picture this—digital replicas of hotel spaces that offer immersive virtual visits from the comfort of your screen. This isn’t about replacing physical stays but enhancing the connection between the guests and the destination before you arrive.

Virtual hotel experience via metaverse enables you to walk through the lobby, glance at the poolside, and explore your breakfast spot. It’s a sneak peek, a taste of the experience waiting for guests at the hotel.

Virtual hotel experiences bring a touch of the stay to your screen, making hotel booking more personal, engaging, and magical.

Virtual Concierge Services

You must have seen a professional in the lobby or next to the front desk at the hotel helping guests with their queries and concerns. Similarly, a virtual concierge will provide guests with conversational and contextual assistance.

Guests can inquire, seek recommendations, and receive personalized assistance from a virtual professional within the metaverse. Virtual concierge makes the physical world with its capabilities driven by technology.

According to the Accenture Technology Vision Survey, 53% of travel executives state that the metaverse will positively impact their businesses, with 25% expecting a breakthrough or transformational impact.

Virtual Meetings and Conferences

The metaverse transforms how we conduct meetings and conferences. Meetings in the metaverse utilize virtual reality technology to unite participants using lifelike avatars.

Imagine a scenario where participants gather in virtual spaces instead of traditional ballrooms, accessible from anywhere globally.

The metaverse facilitates immersive, engaging conferences by leveraging virtual reality technology. Attendees can interact with lifelike avatars, making discussions and networking more dynamic.

Moreover, the hospitality industry can attract domestic tourists by offering virtual venues and services for seamless digital events. This innovative shift caters to the growing demand for remote collaboration and reduces logistical challenges.

With virtual and augmented reality features, meetings and conferences become visually compelling, enhancing the overall experience. The metaverse introduces a new dimension.

Moreover, early adoption of the metaverse could win you over competitors, connect with clients, and host events, ensuring flexibility, accessibility, and a touch of the human element.

Virtual Dining Experiences

The metaverse application is beyond entertainment and can deliver an exceptional guest experience by enabling guests to experience dining virtually.

With the advent of the metaverse, you can select virtual dishes from a menu that materializes before your eyes with augmented reality projections.

Takeaway restaurants also enable customers to place orders virtually, interacting with restaurant avatars. With AR enhancing menu visualization and VR creating lifelike dining atmospheres, the metaverse is on the way to revolutionizing the way to savor flavors through the art of virtual dining.

Virtual Events and Entertainment

Virtual reality in the hospitality industry transcends physical spaces by hosting virtual events and entertainment. Using virtual reality platforms, hotels create immersive digital environments where guests attend conferences, concerts, or social gatherings.

Virtual events in the metaverse redefine entertainment possibilities, enabling memorable and inclusive experiences, irrespective of physical boundaries.

For instance, virtual concerts in the metaverse enable immersive live performances through streaming platforms, offering a front-row experience from anywhere in the world.

Digital stages host various artistic displays, from theater to dance, providing a virtual space for creative expression and connecting performers and audiences globally.

Engaging audiences through the metaverse enhances interactive experiences beyond passive viewing, creating the next level of metaverse tourism for personalized engagements.

Hospitality Brands Using the Metaverse

While the metaverse is still nascent, many hotels leverage it for hotel branding and attracting guests. Here are examples from some of the  largest hotel chains in the world using the metaverse:

Marriott Hotels

Marriott has become an industry pioneer in emergent blockchain-based technologies such as NFTs and VR. Marriot Hotel is one of the first-of-its-kind guest services that allows guests to order inspiring virtual reality experiences in their rooms.

Marriott has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation in technology to inspire and foster its guests’ best thinking.

virtual honeymoon marriott hotels

Source: Marriot

Budweiser

Famous beer manufacturer Budweiser entered the metaverse by embracing NFTs, marking its first-mover status. The iconic beer brand steps into the virtual world, leveraging NFT technology to redefine consumer engagement.

With this move, Budweiser transcends traditional boundaries, immersing itself in the evolving metaverse landscape, where digital innovation and unique experiences converge.

Moreover, Budweiser is set to introduce a particular group of Clydesdale horses to the gaming Metaverse. The platform already lists several collections with more than 100,000 horse NFTs of different rarity scores.

By leveraging new technologies like NFTs and metaverse gaming, the brand creates a memorable experience for fans, bolstering brand loyalty.

Budweiser NFT

Source: Mpost

Stella Artois

Stella Artois’s parent company, AB InBev, is the first to stake a claim for sports sponsorship in the metaverse. AB InBev is one of a handful of brands to run early experiments with NFTs and virtual worlds.

In this metaverse, users can buy virtual racehorses using non-fungible tokens (NFTs), securely buying and selling digital items.

AB InBev NFT

Source: Forbes

CitizenM

CitizenM is a Netherlands-based hotel chain specializing in boutique hotels. CitizenM is the first hotel group to open in the metaverse. The project will be funded by selling NFTs (non-fungible tokens), increasingly traded data units.

The hotel group aims to sell about 2,000 NFTs, with a pledge for discounts and perks such as free drinks redeemable by the purchaser at real-world citizenM properties.

CitizenM metaverse

Source: Mix Interiors

Millennium Hotels

Millennium Hotels operates a hotel in the metaverse virtual world. Millennium’s virtual hotel sits on prime digital land and is positioned as a hub for explorers to discover new experiences and connect with like-minded individuals.

Guests who step inside M Social Decentraland can interact with an avatar. The avatar guides guests on a journey of discovery through the hotel.

Millennium Hotels in metaverse

Source: Millennium

RendezVerse

RendezVerse, the first Metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform explicitly designed for hospitality venues, launched RV360, transforming 360° assets into explorable social spaces within the metaverse.

RV360 is a low-cost and straightforward way for hotels and hospitality venues to enter the metaverse in photorealistic environments. RV360 is a real game-changer, providing an immersive and social metaverse with such a low barrier to entry.

RendezVerse Metaverse

Source: GlobeTrender

Challenges and Opportunities in Virtual Hospitality

VR in the hospitality industry is the way to move forward.

But it comes with challenges and opportunities. The key is striking the balance for a seamless experience for the hospitality industry. Metaverse, the new space for virtual hospitality, provides accessibility and innovation, replicating personal touch.

Let’s explore the challenges and opportunities in virtual hospitality.

Challenges in Virtual Hospitality

Technological Investment

Much like the real world, finances are a genuine concern in creating a space in the metaverse. Implementing virtual hospitality requires substantial investment in cutting-edge technologies like AR, VR, and immersive tools.

Financial capabilities are essential for creating engaging and seamless digital experiences that align with evolving guest expectations. The cost to develop a metaverse for the hospitality industry varies, depending on the size of the project and its complexities.

User Adoption and Training

Ensuring guest comfort in virtual interactions and training staff to operate in the metaverse is necessary. It will also help to deliver a consistent hotel brand experience and maintain service levels even in the virtual world. The key to successfully adopting virtual hospitality practices is overcoming resistance to change and developing a tech-savvy environment.

Data Security Concerns

A pressing concern in the metaverse is the extensive data tracking and profiling. Virtual hospitality involves managing sensitive guest data raising valid data security and privacy concerns.

As personal data is collected and stored, there is a risk that this data could be accessed by hackers, leading to the exposure of sensitive personal information. Cybersecurity measures are imperative to safeguard guest information and build trust in digital interactions.

Integration with Physical Services

Integrating virtual hospitality seamlessly with traditional physical services poses operational challenges. It requires strategic planning, ensuring a cohesive experience for guests transitioning between virtual and physical spaces, and maintaining service quality and consistency.

Opportunities in Virtual Hospitality

Expanded Reach and Market Presence

Virtual hospitality expands the market presence by providing unprecedented access to a global audience. Through immersive digital experiences, hotels and businesses transcend geographical limitations, reaching potential guests worldwide.

This expansive reach not only taps into diverse markets but also enhances brand visibility on a global scale. Virtual platforms create a borderless space where individuals from different corners of the world can explore, connect, and engage with hospitality offerings.

Innovative Revenue Streams

According to Statista, the worldwide metaverse revenue will stand at $490 billion in 2030. Metaverses include applications of virtual reality, augmented reality, and other immersive technologies. The biggest revenue drivers for metaverses are e-commerce and gaming.

As in the real world, you can generate revenue in the metaverse by providing services or experiences to users.

The virtual hospitality world offers innovative revenue streams like immersive advertising, influencer collaborations, virtual events, branded virtual spaces, virtual dining experiences, and more.

Enhanced Guest Engagement

Virtual hospitality offers enhanced guest engagement to increase hotel occupancy by offering personalized experiences. With metaverse, hotels can tailor interactions to individual preferences that resonate with guests’ tastes.

For instance, immersive elements, such as augmented reality menus and virtual room previews, enhance the experience, allowing guests to explore and customize their stay virtually.

Whether attending a virtual event, exploring amenities, or interacting with staff avatars, metaverse enables engagement beyond physical constraints.

Cost-Efficient Marketing

Virtual hospitality leverages the metaverse to provide cost-efficient hotel marketing strategies, such as virtual tours, events, and promotional activities. Hotels can showcase their spaces to a global audience without incurring substantial travel or venue costs.

Virtual events, hosted in the metaverse, allow participation without physical gatherings.

Additionally, promotional activities within virtual environments are often more affordable than in the real world, offering targeted and measurable outreach without the expenses associated with traditional advertising methods.

Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability in virtual hospitality refers to incorporating eco-conscious and environmentally responsible principles into the digital world. Metaverse holds the promise of substantial carbon reductions.

By embracing virtual meetings, events, and immersive experiences, hotels cut down on the need for extensive travel and resource-intensive in-person gatherings.

This shift minimizes energy consumption, decreases transportation-related emissions, and mitigates the environmental impact of maintaining large physical spaces.

The metaverse presents a forward-thinking approach for the hospitality industry, offering eco-friendly alternatives that contribute to a more sustainable future by curbing the environmental impacts traditionally associated with physical services and events.

Conclusion

Metaverse and hospitality are all set to capitalize on technological advances, creating a transformative journey into the future of guest experiences.

Hotels can provide guests with a complete virtual tour of their offerings. They can showcase different room types and amenities like gyms, spas, and swimming pools. Hotels can redesign loyalty programs to benefit from their metaverse.

Hoteliers and entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry can leverage the power of the metaverse and use marketing opportunities to attract customers and create a buzz around their brand through virtual reality.

Moreover, early adoption of the metaverse could win you over competitors. The key will be to understand the various options present in the metaverse and use them efficiently.

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