By Peter Gould, CEO, RendezVerse as featured in Hotel Owner
Whilst shrouded in a cloud of consumer hype, it’s difficult for businesses, particularly in the hotel and hospitality sectors, to see the incredible opportunity the metaverse presents. Hoteliers are ambitious, driven, intelligent people so why is the hospitality industry forever the last to join the party when it comes to implementing forward-thinking, new technologies?
Ready player one?
The B2B world and the corporations which inhabit this space are usually the ones to lead the way when it comes to initiating the uptake of new technology. Subsequently, the consumer market follows shortly afterwards. Take the cloud for example, initially used for the storage of enterprise data, is now home to selfies, food photos and whatever else may reside in your phone’s camera roll.
There are already hospitality businesses building hotels in the metaverse, where gamers can ‘work, sleep and play’. Of course, we wish these businesses the best of luck in their endeavours but would argue that maybe they’re missing a trick with this metaverse strategy.
When it comes to the metaverse, the real value lies not in B2C novelty and Gen Y to Z participation but in meaningful uses and experiences, starting in the B2B sector and expanding from there. Far from being a fun gimmick or a game, the metaverse will be the next iteration of the World Wide Web, allowing for connected interoperability and the freedom to explore new spaces and experiences via virtual reality.
Game changing benefits for hotels and hospitality
The metaverse is set to become the next iteration of the internet and your business’ metaverse will soon become as essential a part of the business toolkit as your website.
With investment from tech giants such as Meta, Microsoft and Google, it’s clear the metaverse is here to stay. Failure to adopt and implement a metaverse strategy will result in businesses lagging behind in their market, clouded by the dust of their competitors, as Web3 technology elevates online experiences and becomes an integral part of society and economy across industries.
From healthcare to automotives, major corporations including Siemens, BMW and Shopify are already well down the road to metaverse implementation and reaping the business benefits of a metaverse strategy. Hospitality needs to join them.
When it comes to the hotel and events industries, the benefits which accompany Metaverse-as-a Service usage are multiple and work to save time, money and the planet.
For example, organising in-person venue site visits with event planners takes time, admin, cleaning resources, as well as costs for lighting, heating or air conditioning. All the while, the space is unbookable and therefore returning zero profit. Oftentimes, site visits are rearranged to accommodate paying clients which ultimately results in additional headache for all involved.
With a digital twin of your hotel or event space, accessed via the metaverse, these issues vanish in an instant. Your prospective client can feel truly present in your space and interact with your staff as they would in-person, via immersive VR technology, all from the comfort of their own desk. The physical space can still be booked and profitable and the event planner has saved time, money and emissions by not travelling to visit your space in-person.
Furthermore, the flexibility of a digital twin means hoteliers can showcase venues with different layouts, lighting and even weather at the touch of a button, seamlessly demonstrating the versatility of the space. When presented with an example like this, it becomes clear that digital twins and Metaverse-as-a-Service tools in hospitality are pretty much a business no brainer.
And it doesn’t stop there. From digital twins for immersive training to kissing goodbye to capacity limits as virtual events become truly engaging, next-level networking opportunities with unlimited ticket sales, the business opportunity for hotels in the metaverse is endless and in my opinion, it starts in B2B.
It cannot be mistaken, metaverse technology is too powerful to be limited only to the realms of gaming. And vital business decisions concerning metaverse strategies for global businesses are already happening across industries, so the time for hospitality to act is now.
Digital twins are no longer tools only for the likes of NASA and Apollo 13. And deploying Web3 technology solutions does not mean a future of soulless, robotic hospitality, crying out for a human touch.
Imagine marketing your hotel in 2022 without a website. Impossible. In the not-too-distant future, marketing your hotel without a metaverse will be equally unthinkable.
The business benefits of the metaverse for hotels and hospitality are evident, so it’s time to quit playing around and get serious about the metaverse.