The disruption of tradition in the industry sparked by this technological trend goes beyond
convincing customers to book a room as VR is now used in travel and accommodation.
In partnership with top virtual reality companies, accommodation and tourism entities are
starting to explore the benefits of the technology to promote not only their hotels and resorts
but untapped tourist destinations as well.
They have also started using the technology for themselves in a wide range of activities – including the planning and execution of remodeling and other projects. The possibilities are
endless, but there are a couple of VR innovations in the industry that do stand out.
Without further ado, here are five of the most innovative uses the hospitality industry has
found for virtual reality:
1. Immersive Virtual Hotel Tours
Technological advancements continue to create a wave of changes not only in gaming but also
in service-oriented industries like hospitality. As one of the most obvious uses of the
technology, immersive virtual tours have proven to be quite an effective marketing strategy,
especially for hotels that have yet to make a name for themselves.
This rare opportunity to “experience” staying at a hotel before actually booking a room acts as
a sort of “free taste” for prospective clients – a marketing strategy that has been proven to
work for many budding brands. Potential guests only need wear VR headsets in order to be
transported to an engrossing tour of the hotel’s rooms and other amenities.
2. State-of-the-Art Destination Marketing
Aside from promoting business establishments, VR is also allowing organizations to shed some
light on untapped gems and boost tourism. In fact, some tourism boards in the West have
already started to use this state-of-the-art technology to promote landscapes and activities in a
way that traditional media can never achieve.
VR, thus, is a viable marketing option for these groups as it can put potential tour guests at the
center of the action, thereby boosting their craving for experiencing the actual destination.
3. In-Stay Hotel Destination Exploration
One of the major challenges travelers face when going on a trip is the lack of time and energy
(and sometimes money) to explore all the tourist spots they wish to see in a single vacation.
With VR, hotels can now offer in-stay destination explorations into their wide array of
amenities. While it cannot replace the real thing, this virtual tour of several picturesque
destinations can help quench part of travelers’ wanderlust and, ultimately, offer a unique
experience during their stay at the hotel.
4. Virtual (B2B) Marketing
While VR works well in promoting luxurious rooms and amenities to people who are after
leisure, it can also be used to convince the other half of hotel clients to engage in business with
these establishments through virtual B2B marketing.
For example, VR can help hoteliers sell corporate events and meeting spaces to event planners
by giving them a taste of being inside the facilities. By allowing them to get a closer and more
immersive look at prospective venues, hotels help event planners determine which places will
work best for their projects since they can gauge whether the space specifications match their
5. Interactive Hotel Design Planning
Remember that mobile game where users can act like interior designers to mix and match
furniture, wallpapers, and other elements in a room? That concept can also be used in
hospitality with the help of virtual reality.
Visualizing interior design has never been as immersive as it is now, with virtual reality
offering a much closer look at the space being designed. Through this, hoteliers can make
better decisions on whether to change carpets, rearrange furnishings, or remodel hotel
Hoteliers can also use this tool after gathering information about how guests want their room
to look like. Knowing guest preferences can help ensure better hotel experiences and,
ultimately, improve the “product” to suit and satisfy guest expectations.
The future in VR
Technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality can do wonders for many industries and
life in general.
As one of the few but growing number of sectors that are starting to open their hearts to virtual
reality, the hospitality industry is already starting to reap the benefits of using the technology
through increased revenue, the influx of guests, and a boost in the popularity of certain
Judit Chackal is responsible for the marketing, communication and business development
efforts of Reach MENA and its sister company, SENSE-R, the leading MENA-based virtual reality
developer for VR branding projects and Industrial Training Simulators. She has over a decade of
experience in delivering strategic marketing & business development visions for global clients in the travel, hospitality, events and education sectors. Her passion for content and experiential
marketing have led her to the field of virtual reality project development.