As a Hospitality and Tourism Management student, I am always looking at new innovations in the hotel and tourism industry. For my blog I found the next big thing in hotel marketing, virtual reality. “From feeling the sun on your face to the wind in your hair,” Marriott’s virtual reality phone booth gives you something tangible and takes you to all corners of the world. From the beaches of Hawaii to downtown London, Marriott brings you halfway across the globe in seconds by stepping inside their phone booth for a virtual 4-D experience.
Many guests looking for a hotel will often use TripAdvisor for reviews or hotel sites for pictures to plan their vacation. But Marriott wondered why not experience the real thing. As virtual reality became more affordable recently Marriott used this to their advantage by putting their future guests into their dream vacation spot. They use live sounds, smells, and even ground shaking effects that will give you a 360 degree angle of the rooms, lobbies, surroundings, and lifestyle to find exactly what you would get at their the hotel. This lets a guest experience a place they might not have thought about and fills them with excitement and dream. By having a real picture in their mind they immediately get a feel for what they would want and get the desire to book a vacation right away. Before people used this 4-D travel experience they said that they had no desire to travel to the places that Marriott showed them virtually. But after they completed the virtual experience one said “I have to go here.”
Marriott came up with virtual reality by the idea, “Travel Brilliantly” where they ask guests how they can make travel “more brilliant.” This is a website where guests posts their ideas to enhance travel with any technological ideas they might have. Once they read guest posts they circle through the “Travel Brilliantly” team and try to come up with ways to make them happen. This is huge for the travel industry as a whole and adds a new and exciting way to help plan out a vacation for not only well-seasoned travelers but ones who do not like too as well.