The Metaverse and the Hospitality Industry: Merging for a New Era of Travel

The summer vacation season is already here, and most of us are planning to get as farther from the office or a job site as possible and escape commuting in the hot July days. And as July and August are the best months for traveling, you must be thinking about your next summer adventure, too.
But, with so many options, how do you know where to go? Should you revisit Greece or treat yourself to a trip to Turkey? And even if you’ve already chosen your destination, we both know that finding affordable yet decent accommodation is often mission impossible.
So, you go to TripAdvisor and read countless reviews hoping to find a hotel or Airbnb worth staying at. Essentially, you’re mostly relying on others’ experiences to make a decision. But what if you could experience your stay before you’ve even packed the bags?
Well, in some cases, you could, all thanks to the metaverse.

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Metaverse and hospitality

Illustration: Lenka T.

Hospitality Industry and the Metaverse

The hospitality industry includes everything from recreation, travel, events, restaurants, hotels, and casinos to similar tourism-related services. Until recently, the hospitality industry was only associated with delivering service in the physical world – whether you wanted to dine at a restaurant, stay at a hotel, or go to a concert, you had to be physically present to receive these services.

However, with the expansion of the metaverse, the hospitality industry is tapping into new business and marketing opportunities that allow customers and clients to receive a service without being physically tied to premises.

How is this achievable?

The metaverse is a 3D-enabled virtual world that allows people to immerse themselves into lifelike experiences using technology. It’s a digital space where users can connect, get together, explore, or even build their own pieces of this virtual landscape without leaving their homes or interacting in real life.

VR user

Photo illustration: Freepik

For some, the metaverse is a revolutionary discovery that opens a world of possibilities, while others have already labeled it a dystopian nightmare. Nevertheless, the metaverse is blooming, and large corporations and businesses are utilizing this opportunity to improve customer service and increase loyalty.

How Can the Hospitality Industry Merge with the Metaverse?

Achieving a good impression and client satisfaction are some of the main focuses in the hospitality industry. Every business, whether it be a hotel or an entertainment park, will try to ensure you have a pleasant experience during your stay. And although the customer experience on premises is still the main factor that keeps business alive and thriving, companies now have many new ways to leave a good first impression on customers.

For example, if you want to dine at a new restaurant, you can visit their website and look at the menu before booking a reservation. You’ll probably be tempted to visit the restaurant if the food looks good in the pictures. The same goes for hotels, too. Before booking, you will scroll through endless pictures to see if the rooms are clean, spacious, and in good condition. In other words, businesses now have to make a great virtual first impression before providing exemplary service in person.

Still, by tapping into the metaverse, businesses in the hospitality industry can go even a step further.

They can provide lifelike virtual tours for potential guests, giving them a clear sense of what their premises look like in real life, or even entice clients to utilize their virtual spaces for their next big event. Your birthday is coming up, but most of your friends live abroad? Hosting a virtual party would definitely save your friends a lot of time and money!

But that’s not the end of the possibilities. We can now attend concerts, shop, order pizza, or even go on a vacation in the metaverse.

Virtual Tours in the Metaverse  

Virtual tours in the metaverse offer various benefits for clients and businesses alike. Businesses can generate more interest in their services by creating a virtual space and allowing guests an immersive virtual reality experience. This marketing approach can increase online bookings, as it enables people to visualize themselves at a hotel, for example, and therefore make an informed decision.

metaverse hotel

Photo illustration: Freepik

Virtual metaverse tours are also excellent opportunities for indecisive customers needing help finding suitable accommodation or organizing their next trip. In addition to that, virtual tours are a perfect opportunity to visit a tourist attraction without having to travel. As some people cannot travel for various reasons, joining a virtual tour of their dream destination could bring some comfort.

This approach could also be valuable to business owners outside the hospitality sector. Imagine you want to host an event. Virtual tours could help you pick the right venue for your conference or other important business gatherings.

Entertainment in the Metaverse

Entertainment companies are getting the most out of the metaverse at the moment, as it allows them to create immersive and exciting virtual experiences customers can enjoy from anywhere in the world. It offers a cost-effective solution to leisure activities, such as attending concerts, riding on rollercoasters, or partying with buddies until dawn.

Metaverse concert

Photo illustration: Freepik

Metaverse concerts have become extremely popular, with singers such as Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the music industry. Again, this is an excellent opportunity for fans to connect with their music idols and have a good time for a fraction of the cost.

Restaurants in the Metaverse

Restaurants are entering the metaverse, too. By creating virtual replicas of their venues, restaurants can allow customers to thoroughly explore their options and check out the overall dining experience before booking. However, takeaway restaurants are more prevalent in the metaverse at the moment, allowing customers to place orders in the metaverse and have them delivered in real life.

Some examples of fast-food chains in the metaverse are Dominoes, McDonald’s, and Applebee’s, and as the metaverse hype continues to grow, we can expect more businesses in this sector to join the wave.

Should the Metaverse and the Hospitality Industry Merge?

If you’re wondering if any of this is necessary, the studies show that people respond well to the newest metaverse trends. According to a recent survey published by Paytronix and PYMNTs, 38% of metaverse users are willing to make purchases from eateries in the metaverse. As the metaverse becomes more accessible, we can only assume that these numbers are destined to go up.

Metaverse and Tourism: From a New Niche to a Transformation study provides further insight into the topic:

“Metaverse has the technological potential to create new tourist experiences that transcend the traditional understanding of time and space and erase the border between virtual and real tourist escape. Importantly, an increasing digital affinity of young target groups such as Gen Z or Alpha lead is expected to spread the demand for metaverse experience. This forecast is supported by large technology companies, venture capital (VC), private equity (PE), startups, and established brands that are making large investments to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the Metaverse. Depending on the scenario, the Metaverse might become an integral component of the tourist ecosystem with so far unknown virtual possibilities to experience people, objects, attractions, time travel, etc. Vice versa, tourism might become a niche product within the metaverse ecosystem.”

Although it is true that the sun doesn’t shine in the metaverse, this virtual space has the potential to widen our horizons and allow us to collect experiences in different settings. It may not be for everyone, but there’s no doubt that the community is growing and that we can expect more immersive projects to entertain us in the near future.

Jelena is a content writer dedicated to learning about all things crypto. Her hobbies are playing chess, drawing, baking, and going on long walks. During winter, she usually spends her leisure time reading books.

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