Virtual reality is a new platform which is gradually forming its own separate market. It is also yet another technological innovation that is successfully supporting client contact with the hotel.
Soon we will stop choosing hotels based on photos or fancy or the offers on booking sites, because it will take us just a moment to get inside the facility, and see the actual rooms and the view from the window. When choosing a hotel, the user will be able to turn on his VR display and check out real-time footage of the beach in front of the hotel, or find out what there is to do in the region.
Imagine a particular guest on a trip. He arrives at his destination airport. The beacon system, installed at the gates, “detects” his presence and “communicates” with his smartphone. With the information collected from the applications he uses, it orders him a taxi from his preferred taxi company and books accommodation.
The guest receives all the necessary information, like the room number the system assigned him, directly to his smartphone at the entrance to the hotel. Although he has never been in this hotel, he knows exactly what to expect, thanks to his previous virtual tour of the facility. He knows which room has the best view of the city skyline and can be combined with the room next door, creating a comfortable studio. His smartphone is also his hotel room key, guaranteeing that no one else will enter the room. E-mails, messages or any other information can easily be read on the big screen hotel TV or tablet. The same screen also serves as a carrier of the dedicated service offer and stay calendar.
Thanks to its connection with social media, the channels followed by the guest or the newest episodes of his favorite series are displayed on the screen as well. What’s more, the system will allow him order a robot that picks up clothes which need to be ironed and returns them ready to wear in under an hour. And, the next morning, when he decides to take advantage of the hotel SPA offer and get, for example, an aromatherapy massage, his smartwatch will inform the SPA and the masseur of this fact ahead of time. Thanks to this, our guest arrives to find the massage table prepared and the masseur waiting.
As opposed to fantasy or sci-fi novels, the above “story” does not contain a single product or service which is not available today. Virtual reality technology can be manipulated, but it is definitely harder to deceive clients using it than it is when using traditional promotional materials, that e.g. frame the pool so as to visually enlarge its surface.
Virtual reality captures dimensions very realistically – scale, distance, height – thus helping us subconsciously “understand” the area of the object being viewed. And that’s not all, as this technology is also able to create a reality that we will not be able to experience for some time yet. An example of this is the new Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences facility in Zakopane, which is expected to open at the beginning of 2018. Although the hotel does not yet physically exist, we can take a walk down its corridors, sit at a restaurant table or lay down on a bed right now – virtually, of course, using a dedicated application.
This is the reality of hotel services. With the continued exponential development of new technologies, these things will soon become not an imaginary future, but the daily work tools of every hotelier.