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13 Sep 2021
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Seven Most Important Features of a Hotel PMS?

23 Sep 2022
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Opportunities for hotels in the Metaverse

12 Feb 2021
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Seven Most Important Features of a Hotel PMS?

23 Sep 2022
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Opportunities for hotels in the Metaverse

12 Feb 2021
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Opportunities for hotels in the Metaverse

Recently we had Praveen Paul give a presentation in ITB Singapore 2022 where he demystifies the opportunities that exist to help

establish a roadmap for hotel in the Metaverse. Here are some of the key points he presented,

What is Metaverse?

Metaverse is a 3D virtual world that is parallel to the physical world. Users usually enter the metaverse using avatars (a digital representation of themselves). Metaverse can be centralized, ones which is controlled by a central entity (like Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite) and de-centralized, ones that are built and established by communities (like the Sandbox).

What is Centralized and De-centralized Metaverse?

The centralized metaverse is controlled by large corporations, regulated, and largely based on Web2 technology. Roblox for example has over 40 million active users daily. The experiences provided by these platforms are constantly improving with next generation of the human race making it a big part of their daily lives.

The decentralised Metaverse is fairly new, the sandbox hosts just a fraction (1000's) of active users daily. These metaverses are largely governed by the people and for the people with decision making via DAO's (Decentralized Autonomous organisations). They natively use web3. blockchain, cryptocurrencies and NFT's - the building blocks for mass adoption pf technology in the metaverse era. The future is in the decentralized Metaverse which is emerging hand-in-hand with blockchain projects and we are seeing opportunities arise in the hotel industry.

What is Web3?

Web3 is the next evolution of the internet from Web2 or the "Platform Economy" where we are products of the "free" platforms that consume our data at our expense. Web3 ushers a new era of the internet with "ownership" as its cornerstone. We finally have the opportunity to own what we produce.

What is the future adoption of Metaverse?

Metaverse statistics in the virtual world are growing showing $800Billion rise in size in the VR segment stock market by 2024.The AR/VR/MR segments are growing rapidly despite the adoption of Web3 still many years away. What is interesting to note is that by 2026 we should be spending 25% of our time in the Metaverse - probably true given we spend more than that currently on online meetings where we virtually connect with colleagues and business partners all over the world. As one of my colleagues during another ITB Asia talk mentioned - the pandemic supercharged tech adoption and load-tested all tech platforms.

The key to note here is that it will take 10 years for the Metaverse to reach mass adoption. However, it is interesting to note that many of the lower rungs of the ladder that will lead to a successful deployment of the Metaverse - Cryptocurrencies (2 Years), Blockchain Wallets (2 years), Blockchain Platforms (2-5 Years), NFTs (2-5 Years), Web3 (5 - 10 years), etc. will happen a lot earlier.

Therefore, it's important that hotels and the hospitality industry set a roadmap of adoption that aligns with these timelines ensuring that the steps along the way are ticked off in preparation for the mass adoption of the Metaverse a decade from now. There is no sense in FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) right now just because the word Metaverse is mentioned frequently.

What is the future of Hospitality in the Metaverse?

Hospitality in the Metaverse can be broadly distributed into three different buckets. The first one revolves around the usage of the Metaverse for events, concerts, etc. which are already in reasonable use at the moment, primarily by the music industry. Many of you would recall that conferences such as ITB and many others were run virtually during the pandemic in a rudimentary mini Metaverse where you entered the lobby and then picked which live to tell you wanted to listen to. These events and their level of immersive Ness will improve significantly over the coming years as the VR/AR/MR environments evolve.

It is likely that guests would like to experience both restaurants and hotels before they book. Check out the food, the ambiance, what the room layout looks like, and where it faces. These will take time to build but hotels that include this as part of their Metaverse roadmap will be a cut above the rest.

Last but not least, let us now discount the immense power of training and education for hotel teams through a mixed-reality environment. With the current difficulties faced globally by hotels with the lack of staff, it is desirable that hotels adopt a virtual training environment where staff can continually improve their skills, including simulated interaction with guests.

How can Hospitality adopt and benefit from Metaverse?

Metaverse adoption with NFT’s

Hotels can upgrade their loyalty program by including NFT’s and blockchains to their programs in the future. This would help customers with perks of unique experiences in the Metaverse. For example Starbucks has already adopted a futuristic approach which will inspire both guests and employees at the same time.

Metaverse adoption with Data based Personalization

In the current Web2 era every individual puts out hundreds of personalised data out there with or without realising it and soon in the Web3 this hundreds will convert to thousands since the information will be more personalised and detailed oriented such as movement of eyes, hands, feet, body among other things.

As a PMS, WINCLOUD Property Management System collects around 50+ data points on each guest within its guest profile, although this information is siloed off for use by the hotel alone. There are often scenarios where the same guest could have visited one of the 2000+ hotels using the PMS however the guest profiles are not interlinked and do not capture a holistic view of guest preferences and patterns across multiple properties. What if with the next generation of internet - Web3, the guest could claim ownership of this profile and thus share this profile with hotels in return for a hyper-personalized guest experience, in addition to of course special perks and privileges since the hotel would have a much better understanding of the guest?

This is one of the many what-ifs and opportunities with "ownership".

Key Take-aways - To summarise Hospitality in the Metaverse can be broadly distributed into three different buckets. The first one revolves around the usage of the Metaverse for events, concerts, etc. which are already in reasonable use now, primarily by the music industry. Many of you would recall that conferences such as ITB and many others were run virtually during the pandemic in a rudimentary mini Metaverse where you entered the lobby and then picked which live tell you wanted to listen to. These events and their level of immersive Ness will improve significantly over the coming years as the VR/AR/MR environments evolve.

It is likely that guests would like to experience both restaurants and hotels before they book. Check out the food, the ambiance, what the room layout looks like, and where it faces. These will take time to build but hotels that include this as part of their Metaverse roadmap will be a cut above the rest.

Finally, let us now discount the immense power of training and education for hotel teams through a mixed-reality environment. With the current difficulties faced globally by hotels with the lack of staff, it is desirable that hotels adopt a virtual training environment where staff can continually improve on their skills, including simulated interaction with guests.

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