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Virtual reality is one of the hottest things in hospitality and technology right now and I am going to explain why and how you can benefit.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Virtual Reality is a natural progression following the internet’s love of video, and now VR hopes to bring realistic interactive video to life. In regards to the hospitality property sector, this often takes on the form of virtual reality video marketing. It is an amazing way to highlight what your property has to offer with the use of a digital walkthrough and now many hospitality brands are creating new experiences for their guests.

It’s not a surprise that everyone wants to talk about their plans for the new tech.

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Virtual Reality – The Next Game Changer for Hotels – Hotel-Online

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Why are VR hospitality property tours becoming popular?

One of the main reasons why hospitality property VR marketing has taken on a viral tone arises from the fact that guests will be provided with a hands-on point of view when making important booking decisions.

Using such technology clearly illustrates that the property in question is keeping abreast of the latest digital trends. Today, VR tours can be easily placed on an online platform through the use of cost-effective software packages.

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Why should businesses even care about virtual reality?

In the not too distant future, property operators will be able to utilize VR to help produce more bookings, provide entertainment, and create new activities that will generate more revenue.

The question now is, how can you, as a hospitality property owner or manager benefit from the use of virtual reality? I will tell you, right after a word from our sponsors.

Before the break, I said I would tell you how can you, as a hospitality property owner or manager benefit from the use of virtual reality.

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It will help put heads in your beds

Consumers need a lot of information to inform their travel purchases. Right now video and pictures help consumers make decisions, more immersive experiences like 360 video, virtual reality headsets, and other technology will increase that impact dramatically. By offering virtual tours on your websites, or via social media sites like Facebook, using 360 video technology that allows potential guests to look at guestrooms and other parts of your property before they book.

In most cases, the tours are shot using an omnidirectional camera, resulting in all directions being filmed at once, allowing for a 360-degree field of view that people can navigate. The thinking is that a traveller can put themselves right there on the property or in the activity to see if it meets their wants and needs and by setting the right expectations, virtual reality will have the ability to paint a clear picture.

In short, VR will help leave little to the imagination, but in the best way possible.

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Provide information on-site  

Virtual reality, at its core, is entertaining and the possibilities are seemingly endless. Hospitality properties can use VR to show people what local activities and attractions look and feel like.

For example:

Your promotional material recommends the local rope bridge experience, but the guest wants to check it out before they go. VR can offer an unparalleled example of what a guest can expect. As mentioned, it takes away the uncertainty travellers may have.

When people travel, they’re out of their element and virtual reality can help make people feel more comfortable.

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Provide entirely new experiences

Virtual reality can completely transport guests to every corner of the world.

It’s also an interesting and different concept. A traveller goes on vacation to a city like Berlin or San Francisco, but instead of experiencing the city, they are transported to an entirely different location.

You can also imagine the possibility of a hospitality property or other business offering “travel” experiences to fantasy worlds. Imagine exploring a completely different world as if you’re in a movie, but unlike a movie, you can control everything going on around you. VR reality games will also have a huge impact on the industry and we expect hospitality to play into that as well.

The creative possibilities are endless.

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According to GCH digital marketing consultant, the “WOW” effect from virtual reality offers an incentive for guests to book directly through a property as opposed to using an OTA. This is critical for properties that commonly pay up to 30% commission to OTA’s to serve as their booking agents.

Any technology solutions that can help hospitality properties avoid those types of commissions are sure to be embraced because there is nothing virtual about driving revenue growth and cost reduction.

Furthermore, innovations in the field mean the 360 viewings now can be accessed through smartphones or PCs without the need for special equipment or glasses, Rather than a trend, GCH sees virtual reality as a proven strategy to increase hospitality property bookings.

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In conclusion

The virtual reality trend in hospitality is in its infancy. With the current state of technology, however, I expect technological adoption to be fast and soon more widespread solutions will become available. It is a fun and interesting time to see all the new technology enter the hospitality property space.

I look forward to watching this trend grow in the future.

 

Are you currently using or considering virtual reality in your marketing strategy? Let me know in the comment section.

 

If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, in this week’s updated episode, I have included what innkeepers can do now to enhance their customer’s virtual reality experience.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC183

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/TdA7Vsvq4Qk

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Hospitality Property School Group is a division of Keystone Hospitality Development Consulting