Metaverse Wine Tours on the Maps as Report Reveals Future of Hospitality

Me&u has already helped change the face of the Australian hospitality industry with its app and beacon-based contactless payment system. But now the company is on a mission to explore the future of the Australian hospitality scene.

In a report co-produced by YouGov and industry experts, me&u’s ‘Trends Ahead Tour’ was created with the aim of helping Australia’s much-loved venues transform into the new era and beyond.

One of the report’s first major findings is the effect of changing lightning speeds on the hospitality industry in response to the pandemic. Over 80% of Australian consumers surveyed are looking for smart technology to be part of their entertainment experience, as long as places remain people-centric and continue to value human interactions.

The report also revealed that more than half of Australians want to explore their favorite place in a virtual reality environment. According to the report, the Metaverse is on the verge of blending into the tangible world, with 60% of millennials agreeing that they would be interested in trying a new place in the Metaverse before visiting it in real life.

Another 60% said they would be interested in places using the metaverse to experience virtual reality activities such as wine tastings, hotel tours and other experiences.

And while the realm of metaverse, NFTs, cryptocurrency, and blockchain may seem futuristic and out of reach, brands around the world are already playing with this brand new technology embedded in Web3.

Virtual reality is now a reality

As one of the new pillars of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio, Moxy Hotels aims to bridge the gap between physical and digital with its new augmented reality experience that blurs the lines of technology.

Its in-person hotel guests are free to virtually explore Moxy’s properties using their own personalized avatar, equipped with challenges to complete and prizes to win.

The popular hospitality brand is also set to partner with ONE Esports to launch a Gamer’s Paradise, which will feature an all-new series of gaming talk shows.

In California, the Madonna Inn takes guests on a wonderland of the mind, allowing them to immerse themselves in the fantasy of their choice – from a jungle motif to a 1950s flashback or a dusty Wild West cabin – in their in person themed hotel room.

The augmented reality technology has a digital library of thousands of worlds and can be accessed by pressing the sides of the AR glasses provided at reception. Who needs room service in the hotel of the future?

A world first

How sites can extend technology and our experience into the limitless metaverse is already taking shape.

In May, M Social, a lifestyle brand under Millennium Hotels and Resorts, became the first hotel group in the world to establish a hotel in the Metaverse. Housed on the browser-based platform Decentraland, the digital experience is perched around the corner from Genesis Plaza, a much-loved hub of the 3D world. The central positioning allows their customers to “discover new experiences and connect with like-minded people”.

Currently, digital customers can enjoy virtual property that features stylish interiors inspired by their real-world establishments in Paris, New York, Singapore and Auckland. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by an avatar assistant in the lobby before guiding them on a journey through hotel discovery. For those motivated enough to venture into the maze of Decentraland, actual hotel prizes are up for grabs.

While metaverse-led experiences may not yet be making their way into the Australian hospitality industry, me&u has shed some light on the future of our nation of food and drink lovers.

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