Holidaying in the Metaverse

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    In the future, vacation trips halfway around the world may become more expensive, time-consuming, and risky. What if you could experience a convincing virtual version of the real thing? The metaverse, a parallel digital realm where the real world and fantasy world merge, is emerging as the next disruptive technology that could transform reality as we know it. tourism and hospitality companies must prepare for the transition. A new paper by Dr Michael Lin and Dr Daniel Leung from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM), Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and their co-authors, describes the potential of the metaverse to transform hospitality customer experience and management.

    Some believe that the Metaverse is a virtual future, an alternate reality in which humans can work, communicate, and play. Today’s virtual reality and augmented reality innovations will eventually be seen as simply tools for accessing and experiencing the Metaverse. There, users will be able to interact with avatars, virtual environments, objects, and other users in ways that transcend boundaries. “Simple” Virtual reality experience. Users will be free to discover countless new environments and incredibly realistic sensory experiences that may one day become indistinguishable from the real thing. The Metaverse will have a major impact on hospitality and tourismsays the author. poses significant opportunities and challenges for all stakeholders within the ecosystem.

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the feasibility of living in such spaces has become increasingly clear. The imposed lockdown has led to an increase in video conferencing, working from home, distance learning, and online communication with loved ones. Since then, these activities have become ingrained in our daily lives as part of society. “Social norms”. The shift to increasingly immersive experiences brings significant benefits, including savings in resources, time, and transportation costs. More and more people expect interoperability in both physical and virtual environmentssays the author.

    The Metaverse is the next stage of digital evolution. The Metaverse’s 3D space allows users to co-create virtual experiences that overlap with the physical world, allowing organizations to engage with customers and stakeholders virtually and physically.This allows them to Use multisensory content to provide a variety of immersive experiences and scale operations in terms of location, space, time zone, and professional capabilities.explains the researcher. The authors fully explore these untapped potentials in their remarkable publication.

    The Metaverse may still be in its infancy, but it already has clear potential in hospitality and tourism. This enables a customized co-creation experience that offers an equal, if not greater, selection of restaurant, event, and recreation options. Instead of tiring international travel to attend meetings, conferences, cultural events, destinations, and tours, users can wear virtual reality headsets. Metaverse leverages virtual experiences before, during and after travel to transform the hospitality ecosystem and completely reinvent business processes and management. Hospitality and tourism stakeholders need a deeper understanding of how the metaverse can help co-create transformative experiencesexplains the researcher.

    The most attractive selling point of Metaverse is that Seamless connection between physical and virtual worlds for enhanced experiencessays the author. This is important because hospitality has both tangible and intangible components. For example, guests must of course sleep in real beds and eat real food, but it is possible to provide ambiance, ambience, emotion, service, connection, kindness, emotional engagement, etc. virtually. can. This ability to provide engaging experiences may prove particularly important in the context of social upheaval or restrictive personal circumstances.

    Another big advantage of integrating real and virtual travel experiences is space. In practice, investors need to purchase land and build a physical hotel, ideally in a good geographical location. With the support of Metaverse, people can experience some of the intangible elements of hospitality virtually, from the comfort of their own homes or other locations.says the author. This means hospitality investors, designers, builders and managers can instead invest more effort into developing a digital presence and deliver a much cheaper simulation. “Actual item” With fully customizable and unlimited geographic virtual space.

    This groundbreaking paper outlines a roadmap to harnessing the Metaverse, which takes us from reality to complete illusion by increasing our dependence on technology. This path includes traditional real-world experiences, technology-assisted experiences, technology-enhanced experiences, technology-enhanced experiences, and most importantly, technology-powered fantasy experiences. Allows users to step from the physical world to the virtual world and vice versa, the author explains. For example, couples can choose to: “Global Wedding” This theme allows you to experience your special day in multiple locations using your headset.

    Researchers say that integrating the physical and digital worlds will require multiple layers of innovation. Hospitality managers in the virtual world need to design the amenities, aesthetics, and atmosphere of digital hotels. Designers and builders are tasked with mapping the virtual realm and conceptualizing design concepts. Managers need to find new ways to run their hotel properties, combine tangible and intangible experiences, and develop entirely new marketing strategies. Designing an intuitive user experience should also ensure functionality, discoverability, trust, value, accessibility, and ultimately, pleasure.underline the author.

    In a vivid description of what’s to come, researchers describe some of the innovative virtual experiences already out there. They successfully blend the physical and virtual worlds to create a unique experience. For example, a person planning to travel to Nova Scotia, Canada, can already experience a 360-degree online virtual reality video before his visit. These allow future travelers to immerse themselves in Nova Scotia’s attractionsconclude the researchers. Explore Nova Scotia’s wine country on a tidal ride through the Bay of Fundy and more.

    For nearly a decade, Marriott Hotels has also been experimenting with: “teleportation”, which allows you to experience destinations and hotel facilities through a virtual reality headset. In 2014, the hotel chain “I’ll have you teleported.” A booth will be set up outside New York City Hall, offering newlyweds a virtual experience of hospitality venues in Maui (Hawaii) and London. In addition, the Inamo restaurant in London uses interactive table projections that allow customers to select their food, order from a virtual menu, and watch the chef prepare it in real time. Users can also set different moods and tablecloths, discover local neighborhoods, play games, and interact with other users. researchers say.

    To prepare for this exciting future, the authors have proposed some best practice suggestions. First, companies need to actively participate in the metaverse. Hospitality companies can promote their businesses to consumers in a more immersive way while fostering co-creation to enhance experience-shaping.says the author. This means consumers can try out products and services before visiting, co-create with travelers, and share experiences with others. “Destination Expert” On the TripAdvisor forums.

    We may only be at the dawn of the metaverse, but hotels, restaurants, and event planners will soon need to reevaluate their relationships and engagement with consumers. Hospitality companies will also need to collaborate with technology companies to create this hybrid world, and we can learn a lot from the gaming industry in this regard. different types of hospitality businessadd author, Specific business strategies must be aligned with strategic needs and requirements and planned accordingly. The future of the Metaverse also requires full support from governments. This means that ethical and legal issues must be thoroughly investigated and discussed.

    This impressive work offers the first glimpse of how the Metaverse will change the human experience. While the Metaverse is not a replacement for in-person travel, it has great potential to blend physical and virtual environments. To successfully implement the Metaverse into hospitality and tourism experiences, companies will need to consider a wide range of entirely new organizational, regulatory, and creative possibilities. Metaverse is a revolutionary concept. The authors conclude: Therefore, adapting properties to the needs of different stakeholders can take a long time..

    Bouharis, Dimitrios, Lin, Michael S., and Leon, Daniel (2023). The metaverse as a driver of customer experience and value co-creation: Implications for hospitality and tourism management and marketing. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality ManagementVol. 35, No. 2, 701-716.

    About PolyU’s Hotel and Tourism Management School

    The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at Hong Kong Polytechnic University has honed a unique vision of hospitality and tourism education for over 40 years to become the world’s leading hotel and tourism school. Ranked first in the world for six consecutive years in the “Hospitality and Tourism Management” category of ShanghaiRanking’s 2022 Academic Subject World Rankings. In the 2021/2022 university ranking based on academic performance, it was ranked first in the world in the “Commerce, Management, Tourism, and Services” category for the fifth consecutive year. The 2017 CWUR Subject Ranking ranked us number 1 in the world in the subject area of ​​”Hospitality, Leisure, Sports and Tourism”. Ranked second in the world among university-based programs in the subject area ‘Hospitality and Leisure Management’ for the seventh consecutive year in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, SHTM is a symbol of excellence in this field. Yes, we are embodying the results. Our motto is first-class hospitality and tourism.

    Our school is driven by the need to contribute to industry and the academic community through the advancement of education and the dissemination of knowledge. SHTM has a strong international team of more than 90 faculty members from diverse cultural backgrounds and offers programs from undergraduate to doctoral levels. Through Hotel Icon, the school’s ground-breaking teaching and research hotel and a key aspect of its paradigm-shifting approach to hospitality and tourism education, SHTM advances teaching, learning and research and inspires a new generation of passionate Inspiring pioneering professionals and establishing ourselves as a leader in the hospitality and tourism industry.

    Pauline Gunn
    senior marketing manager
    +852 3400 2634
    hong kong poly


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