Modern technologies have a significant impact on marketing and the hospitality industry is no exception. While consumers are looking for the best deals, business owners are looking for a better way to offer their clients a unique experience. That is the area where Augmented Reality(AR) comes in handy.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is an interactive experience of the real world that is enhanced by supporting tools simply by pointing a smartphone at an object. Augmented reality adds digital elements to the living world and makes it more informative, simple and visually pleasing.
If you want to know more about AR and especially how it’s being used in marketing, check out Crosscreators blog:
Augmented Reality & Hospitality Industry
In 2012, for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Holiday Inn implemented a project that became one of the first examples of the use of augmented reality in the hospitality business. Using smartphones guests were able to see the Olympic athletes in action and take photos with their digitized versions at various locations throughout the hotel.
After Holiday Inn’s AR campaign, more hotels started using augmented reality in their business because it became clear that it had unique benefits.
Here are some benefits of using AR in the hospitality business:
Time management – Augmented reality makes it easier for hotel businesses to save time because there will be no need to answer never ending calls. Visitors will receive all the necessary information thanks to AR applications.
Competitiveness – with the introduction of modern technologies, business owners display that they can offer their guests appropriate services adjusted to modern standards.
Personalization – Augmented reality-based applications can help in getting details about the guests and their preferences. If visitors somehow decide to repeat their holiday at the hotel, this would definitely help with generating a personalized offer.
Uniqueness – AR technology is fascinating because it lets your imagination run wild. And hotels can become wild too. For example, business owners can create AR games where the main place of action is a resort; AR pop-up booklet, which with the help of a smartphone transforms the photo-information of nearby landmarks into miniature models, etc.
Uses of AR in hospitality
1. Map Features
The main function of augmented reality is to add enhanced data to already existing information. Using AR Hotels and resorts can develop an application for the tourist hub, e necessary information about the hotels and other establishments.
This feature makes the visits much easier and more convenient.
Example: Premier Inn
Still in 2014 Premier Inn equipped its London hotels with interactive maps that allow guests to find the information they need using their smartphones.
2. Interactive Hotel Rooms
This is one of the best features of AR in the hospitality industry. For the customers to have a better idea of hotel rooms, some businesses offer interactive hotel rooms.
Guestrooms are presented in a 3D model where customers can view the room in real-time, see the area around the venue and have a 360-degree virtual tour before they are physically there.
3. Beacon Technology
Beacon technology uses a Bluetooth-based interface connected to augmented reality to deliver customers the information or cues they need based on their location.
It is a common tool among people who love exploring areas. It provides various information such as maps, nearby facilities, evacuation plans and so on.
Example: Starwood Hotels and Resort
Starwood hotels and resort beacon technology were implemented at hotels in Manhattan and Silicon Valley via the Starwood Preferred Guest app. Guests receive virtual keys on their smartphones for more convenience and have access to location-based shopping malls, restaurants, gyms and more.
4. Translation Facilities
Many hotels have visitors from other countries as well who may not be able to communicate properly with people of different linguistic backgrounds.
In such cases, Augmented Reality applications can be quite useful. Guests just need to point smartphones at various guides, or even at the menu to get relevant information in a language acceptable to them.
Using this feature the hotel ensures that guests from any country can have a comfortable visit regardless of the language barrier.
The hospitality industry is not going far away from gaming to attract new customers. Various hotels offer their clients games based on augmented reality to make the experience of staying in a hotel more enjoyable.
By introducing these types of games and making the hotel a customer’s playground, the business will offer a unique experience to its clients. Thanks to the variety of games, it can be entertaining for people of any age.
Example: Moxy Hotels
In July 2022, Marriot’s subsidiary company Moxy Hotels launched an AR game “Moxy Universe, Play Beyond” that offers guests various prizes for exploring the hotel. After scanning the QR code via smartphone or other device, visitors can customize their avatars, participate in various challenges, and so on.
AR technology is flexible enough to adapt to many different businesses. The hospitality industry is no exception. The use of AR in the hospitality industry is not new and more and more businesses are starting to use it to stay competitive in the market.
No doubt using AR in the hotel and tourism sector can increase brand awareness and enhance the travel experience. Using modern tools allows for attracting new customers, as well as delivery of personalized services to loyal customers. It’s a win-win situation for both customers to have a mesmerizing experience and for hotels to establish or strengthen their place in the industry.
Considering the speed of technology development and implementation of its use in the daily lives of people, it’s more than expected that Augmented Reality will seize great opportunities in the hospitality business.