TECHNOLOGY

Six ways the metaverse will impact travel and hotels

Stakeholders in the travel and hospitality industry can create new revenue streams in the metaverse.

We are in the midst of a tectonic shift. After the great social dilemma on touchscreens – likes, comments and shares – comes a new metric: the metaverse.

The metaverse is an integrated network of 3D virtual worlds.

How big is the metaverse market when it comes to travel and hospitality? It’s huge. The metaverse is not a hardware technology. The metaverse is an integrated network of 3D virtual worlds. As with most other technologies, the user needs a mobile phone, but with an additional gadget, such as a virtual reality headset.

In January 2023, travel and hospitality stakeholders will be talking about metaverse as Apple releases its augmented reality (AR) mixed reality (MR) headset.

With a VR headset, a user can navigate the metaverse and gain control over the environment through eye movements, voice commands, and body movements. The metaverse will dominate the travel and hospitality space in many ways.

Here are our top six exhibits:

Video game tourism: a money maker

In the future, a tourism organization or travel agency will do less than market brochures and invest heavily in metaverse content designed like video games. With a VR headset, the tourist is digitally transported to the pyramids of Giza or plays with the penguins of Antarctica, all virtual, but in a seemingly real environment. While tour companies can use it as a pre-sale demo to promote the real-life Antarctica or Giza, the VR experience itself can be sold separately – another monetization opportunity for tour companies.

The 3D meta hotels

For hotels, the metaverse will change the rules of the game as it will allow sales teams to generate more revenue. The turnaround time to close a sale will be shorter with smarter platforms. This is especially true for hotels that thrive on the sale of meeting and banquet rooms, which today require decision-makers to visit the hotel in person. Renowned brands such as Marriott, Atlantis, Movenpick and Anantara have already entered the space, collaborating with metaverse content creators such as RendezVerse to create a digital twin – a virtual, three-dimensional replica of the property.

Check out the metaverse of the Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel and Conference Center.

Reservations and interactions

Bookings, whether for flights or hotels, will be a fun experience for customers. Instead of just filling out monotonous forms or chatting with bots, the customer is involved in an engaging experience when booking a flight, package holiday or hotel room. Avatars can be created by either the customer or the company. Front office staff in a Thai hotel metaversion, for example, will be an avatar wearing traditional Thai clothing and greeting a “Sawasdee Kha”. He will also answer questions during the booking process and recommend interesting places to visit while the guest is in Thailand.

Travel Marketing on the Metaverse

Companies that want to have their presence in the metaverse need metaverse content, metaverse campaigns, and metaverse marketing strategies. Metaverse branding agencies offer just that. One such example is Scotland-based New Frontier, which was working on creating a metaverse version of The Great Tapestry of Scotland, a five-star attraction in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders. With a lot of planning and detail, New Frontier has recreated the appeal of the metaverse. The company chose the idea of ​​NFTs representing themes other than the carpet: inventions, battles, kings and queens, and traditions. Each theme lends itself to rich visuals, opportunities to explore stories and create interactive solutions. The company also identified possible games to support a treasure hunt with hidden scrolls. Some of these are hidden in the local community and the rest in the game itself, creating a hybrid experience of real and digital words for visitors.

Airlines: flying on the metaverse

In the metaverse, people could fly without being on an airplane. While the ICAROS flight stimulator was essentially designed for sports enthusiasts to encourage workouts in the virtual world, the technology could be easily replicated by airlines.

Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Qantas are investing millions of dollars in metaverse experiences as the ROI is huge. For example, Metaverse airlines will offer loyalty points to customers who visit their digital space and have access to various facilities such as lounges and e-stores. When enough points are accumulated, the customer can redeem them for free flights and cabin upgrades in the real world. Airlines, in turn, earn by selling these points to a partner such as a credit card company. Benefits for passengers, airlines and credit card companies. It’s a win for everyone, thanks to the metaverse.

Airlines also cover metaverse basics, such as virtual cabin tours. Qatar Airways launched QVerse and introduced MetaHuman cabin crew. OEMs such as Airbus and Boeing are also working on immersive 3D designs.

Private jet charters like Star Jets International have partnered with animators from Pixar, Disney and 21st Century Fox to create metaverse assets for luxury travelers.

Events of the metaverse

The metaverse could host weddings, concerts, and global summits. Companies like MetaEvents specialize in metaverse tools to provide customers with digital storefronts, tickets like NFTs, and digital collectibles. As with any live event, attendees can network and interact with each other.

According to a recent Gartner report, by 2026, approximately 25% of people will spend an hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, entertainment and socializing. About 30% of organizations worldwide will have metaverse-ready products and services.

The global metaverse market was valued at $41.9 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $1,237.0 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 40.4% from 2021 to 2030.

The global metaverse market size is dominated by major players such as Apple, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, ByteDance Ltd, Facebook, Inc., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Nextech AR Solutions Inc., NVIDIA Corporation, Roblox Corporation, Shenzhen Zqgame Co. , Ltd, Tencent and Unity Technologies. These players have adopted various strategies to increase their market penetration and strengthen their position in the industry.

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