How can the metaverse enhance sales and marketing for the entertainment and the tourism industry?

Metaverse travel and tourism solutions can significantly improve booking procedures by giving essential information that cannot be appropriately communicated in other methods. This increases the likelihood that a consumer will complete his booking rather than cancel it.

14 mins read

The metaverse concept has captured public attention worldwide, notably during the current epidemic, when lockdown measures and remote working regulations pushed more people to explore online virtual worlds for entertainment and tourism. Does metaverse have the potential to enhance sales and marketing for the entertainment and the tourism industry?

The answer is yes. The metaverse is a rapidly rising technology that will impact all aspects of culture, entertainment, and marketing. That is why any business owner or marketer who sells products or services online should be interested in the latest developments in this exciting industry.

The metaverse goes beyond traditional advertising toward creating brand experiences that are more engaging, thrilling, and less intrusive than those now available through digital advertising. This gives the individuals in marketing for the entertainment and tourism industry an upper hand, and they can utilize metaverse to enhance sales and marketing for the industries.

Metaverse travel and tourism solutions can significantly improve booking procedures by giving essential information that cannot be appropriately communicated in other methods. This increases the likelihood that a consumer will complete his booking rather than cancel it.

Hotels, for example, may utilize virtual reality tours or digital avatars to allow guests to walk around a realistic replica of their property, gaining a feel of how big rooms are and what amenities are available.

One significant advantage of the concept of metaverse tourism is how it might serve as an inspiration for travelers. With virtual reality experiences, potential visitors may learn more about the place they’re interested in or how long it will take them to get there. If you’re looking to attract more tourists, the metaverse can play an important role.

What significant changes did the tourism industry undergo in the last two years? How have customer expectations changed?

Tourism has grown steadily over the last few decades, becoming one of the world’s fastest expanding economic sectors. International visitor arrivals increased by 59 percent during the decade, from 880 million in 2009 to 1.5 billion in 2019.

However, the robust historical rise has been interrupted in the last two years because of the global Covid-19 epidemic. Travel and tourism were among the most affected industries from the beginning of the virus’s spread, with aircraft grounded, hotels shuttered, and imposed travel restrictions.

Border closures, tourism restrictions, and a travel ban

Travel restrictions were implemented in countries worldwide to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Airport closures, suspension of incoming and outgoing flights, and statewide lockdowns were just a few of the steps that governments took to help control the epidemic. All of them had a significant impact on the tourism industry.

Restoring tourism will necessitate actions to ensure that people are and feel comfortable when traveling. The World Travel & Tourist Council (WTTC) awards global safety and hygiene stamps to nations that demonstrate their commitment to reopening their tourism industry. At the same time, they recover from the coronavirus epidemic.

Customer experience has evolved into a significant distinction in the travel industry. Putting the consumer first has nearly become a must for sustaining and growing a successful tourism company. However, it is not as straightforward as it appears due to the recent pandemic. The customers are concerned about their safety now more than ever.

The travel ecosystem is related to policymakers relaxing restrictions, businesses establishing travel rules for their staff, and scientists developing vaccinations and therapies. Consumers closely monitor each of these variables, but they are also eager to return to travel shortly – some even more so than last year. However, travel may increase gradually as people adjust to a new reality in which health and safety are paramount.

As nations progressively ease travel restrictions and tourism slowly resumes in many parts of the world, health must remain a priority, with integrated health procedures protecting employees, communities, and travelers while benefiting businesses and workers.

What tech trends do you see gaining prominence in the hospitality industry as the economy opens up?

The hospitality industry is constantly searching for new and innovative methods to attract customers and make their stay as memorable as possible. One way to do this is by capitalizing on current trends. However, trends are constantly changing, and keeping on top of your guests’ expectations may be challenging. So what tech trends will gain prominence in the ever-changing hospitality industry?

Check-In through Facial Recognition: Checking in is a specific event in the industry. Computers have made the process faster, but for the most part, it hasn’t altered all that much since before the internet was invented. However, things are beginning to change. The check-in procedure is made easier for visitors by using face recognition technology.

So, Facial recognition in hospitality is sure to gain prominence as it makes the check-in procedure convenient.

Virtual Reality Tours: Virtual reality hotel tours are becoming more and more popular. Some hotels are taking advantage of what technology can now accomplish and providing virtual reality tours. The Shangri-La hotel is an excellent example of this, featuring virtual reality tours of the premises and nearby attractions.

Why Virtual Reality tour is something to look out for:

  • It gives you an accurate representation of the rooms and event venues
  • Put the viewer in charge.
  • Attract both individual visitors and huge gatherings searching for a place to stay.

Augmented reality: Augmented reality uses computer technology to modify a person’s perspective of their surroundings. Compared with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality enriches the real-world environment in real-time rather than replacing it with a wholly virtual one.

In recent years, augmented reality has evolved as an essential idea in hospitality management. It enables hotels and other associated enterprises to improve the physical environment they are selling or the experience of exploring the surrounding region.

Chatbots: In the hospitality industry, chatbots have been a rising trend for some years, but their value is only increasing as clients want immediate responses to inquiries at all times. Hotels and restaurants often get questions from customers in various time zones, which makes it difficult to have employees on call at all hours.

An intelligent chatbot will answer the most frequent inquiries without human assistance. Therefore, it is a technology guaranteed to gain prominence in the upcoming years.

How do you use data to offer personalized experiences to travelers?

To stand out in an increasingly crowded traveling industry, travel executives have come to understand the need to provide customers with experiences that are more relevant and personalized as standing out is getting more difficult.

Successful data is the foundation for good personalization. However, where can one get the most reliable information? Moreover, how should they put it to use? Travel businesses are drowning in data, but obtaining the correct data for personalization is tricky.

If you’re successful at personalizing, you’ll need a combination of first-party data (information gathered from your websites, mobile apps, and social media) and third-party data such as information from other sources like Facebook news feeds and search behavior.

Once travel firms have gathered the necessary data, the next step is to choose and apply the appropriate technological solutions to provide tailored experiences throughout the client journey.

Personalization is significantly more challenging to offer throughout the client experience and all of its touchpoints without this comprehensive picture across diverse internal systems and databases. So you need to have a clear image of all the processes to provide customers with a fantastic experience.

Providing a personalized experience also entails providing a connected experience, understanding what clients have been doing in other areas of the hotel, and exchanging information across various hotel departments. This allows hotel employees to know their guests’ demands.

For example, suppose a client has spent the whole day playing tennis on the hotel’s tennis court. In that case, the restaurant staff may recommend a nutritious supper that matches their activities. In this way, The visitor is given a completely personalized experience.

Personalization is an excellent tool for hotels to make their customers’ experiences memorable and distinguish themselves in a market where competition is severe– and likely to get much fiercer. However, to create personalized experiences to the next level, hotels must ensure that data is used to its most significant potential. That includes obtaining it as soon as feasible and sharing it across all hotel locations.

How is the digital transformation changing the way global travelers view KSA as a destination?

The digital revolution in Saudi Arabia is being accelerated thanks to the country’s solid digital infrastructure. This framework has allowed the Kingdom to meet the needs of its citizens and its businesses, schools, and government agencies. The Kingdom’s comprehensive digital infrastructure has earned it a spot among the world’s top ten most developed nations.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) government has developed due to global technological advancements. Digital techniques have taken the place of the old ones, and many plans have been made to pace up digitalization, and this is why travelers now view KSA as a destination.

Saudi Arabia has established the groundwork for a prosperous future with the Saudi Vision 2030, a strategic framework designed to reduce the country’s reliance on oil and diversify the economy. A vital component of the strategy is the active promotion of businesses and governmental partnerships and the development of services in areas such as infrastructure, health, education, entertainment, leisure, and tourism.

The particular focus remains on tourism, and various digital transformations have taken place to achieve that.

The worldwide pandemic has shown that those that use digital technology early are better equipped to react to and recover from crises. Government and commercial businesses in Saudi Arabia are quickly adopting digital infrastructure to cope with various issues. Many private companies invest in big data and analytics, robotic process automation; artificial intelligence; and machine learning. This digital revolution is undoubtedly going to impact their tourism industry as well.

The country with the most up-to-date technology is sure to provide more facilities to tourists than the country with outdated technology. Technology makes the stay more comfortable. So, with the rise in digital transformation, travelers’ view of KSA is changing as a global destination.

Cover Image: Waleed Al Toukhi marketing and communication executive director (entrainment destinations).

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