Brands should look to the current metaverse players and consumer behavior trends for inspiration on how to tackle the top metaverse use cases in 2023.
How the hospitality industry is approaching the metaverse
The metaverse is one of the fastest growing technology trends across industries, along with other web 3.0 technologies like Blockchain, NFTs and artificial intelligence that are predicted to become mainstream.
Generation Alpha (born 2010 to 2024) is currently the largest age demographic engaging in metaverse platforms. Two-thirds of Roblox users are under age 16, meaning that as this generation grows up, metaverse users will have spending power to use in this online economy.
Here's how some of the top players across sectors are already activating their brands in the metaverse:
Hotels and resorts
Some major hotel chains are making big bets in the metaverse through gamification, augmented reality and NFTs for guests to explore. One AR-based hotel campaign encouraged users to design virtual avatars before their hotel stays, and upon arrival, use their mobile devices to scan codes throughout the hotel to activate virtual AR experiences. A code at the hotel bar would provide guests with a free welcome drink.
On a smaller scale, an international hotel group activated a new “NFT rate” for one hotel location in Italy. Guests who purchased a hotel stay NFT through OpenSea, an NFT marketplace, would get access to a special rate with innovative perks and the option to re-sell the rate until the night before the stay.
The world’s largest casino brands are still in the testing phase when it comes to metaverse activations. One global resort company has started filed trademark applications for NFTs and other virtual assets. Meanwhile, Decentraland is already home to a virtual casino game that accounts for 60% of the platform’s traffic, yet the game doesn’t actually allow users to use or lose money.
Several EMEA airlines are leading the way when it comes to airline activations of metaverse technology. One airline is currently training future cabin crew members using virtual models of a new cabin craft and simulating real-life scenarios in 3-D.
Another airline created an external experience that tours users through a virtual boarding experience onto a plane. Visitors can interact with a talking flight attendant that guides them through check-in, boarding and the flight experience in economy and business class.
The UAE is leading metaverse activation when it comes to city and regionwide tourism with the first metaverse city “Sharjahverse,” a virtual version of the second-most populated city in the UAE. What’s unique about the venture is the photo-realism; to truly mimic the experience of visiting the city, the 3-D environment is built from real photos of locations and users can create their avatars from photos. Sharjahverse visitors will be able to transact, play games, walk around and interact with each other.
What consumers want from hospitality metaverse activations
While metaverse activations and technology are in various early stages, consumer behavior can give the travel and hospitality industry a direction for future investment.