The hospitality industry has always prided itself on the ability to offer guests not just a room or a service, but a memorable experience. Hotels in particular work hard to create a vacation environment that can provide everything a guest could want or need. Between the gym, restaurant, shop, spa, and amazing personnel, a guest spending a week at a hotel can have an incredible experience without a single day repeating itself in activity or menu. All of these efforts play a part in building a strong hotel brand: guests have many choices, and brand loyalty goes a long way. Building a powerful hotel brand is more than logo recognition; it’s about building confidence with guests that a stay at your hotel is going to exceed their expectations, time and again.
Offering immersive media is a powerful way to give potential guests a way to explore hotels, and to give brand loyalists a way to explore locations and amenities they aren’t familiar with.
Here are some of the ways immersive media can assist in building a hotel brand.
Provide an inside look
Aside from word-of-mouth, today almost every search starts online. Virtual hotel tours give visitors a chance to get an inside look at everything your hotel has to offer as they search around for the ideal spot. Virtual tours are ideal for showcasing rooms, restaurants, cafes, lobbies, outdoor spaces, multi-purpose rooms, spas, pools, and gyms, among other amenities that are located in or around the hotel.
For example, Hotel Covington – a boutique hotel in Kentucky – uses a virtual hotel tour to provide a virtual deep dive into the hotel’s gorgeous spaces and amenities. The tour uses high-quality 360-degree panoramic photos of a number of locations, including dining rooms, two suites, the lobby, and a multipurpose ballroom. The tour also has a stop at the entrance outside of the building, which shows the local businesses nearby the hotel.
Showcase nearby attractions
Is your hotel surrounded by museums, parks, shopping, and restaurants? Showcasing these attractions is incredibly useful for guests. Why would they book a hotel far from the action when they could save taxi or rental car money by walking everywhere they want to go? Many guests come for the convenience of adventuring on foot instead of by vehicle, and a hotel surrounded by attractions can provide the ideal vacation spot.
Virtual tours and interactive maps can showcase all of these nearby activities all in one place, rather than guests constantly switching platforms and apps to map out their trip. An immersive map of your hotel and its surrounding areas allows visitors to see everything in one place, and to easily get directions. Being able to walk the streets in a web browser or mobile app is delightful enough, but with today’s mapping technology, hotels can finally put aside the hastily sketched napkin maps to attractions and help guests easily find where they need to go. With real-time GPS location markers, guests will be able to use the interactive version of the hotel’s 3D map first to plot their route to nearby attractions and then to find their way back to the hotel if they decided to wander at will enjoying the sights, smells, and local culture.
An edge over short-term rentals
Short-term rentals are continuing to become popular options among travellers, but there are always stories about locations not being what was shown in the images. Immersive 3D tours and maps of a hotel’s local neighborhood help it stand out and demonstrate what would be missed with vacation rentals.
Virtual-reality (VR)-ready hotel tours are a perfect and fun way to show off top-notch amenities, as well as highlighting the cultural opportunities, nearby attractions and hospitality perks a hotel has to offer. For some guests, this is far more appealing than relying on a stranger for advice about what is nearby, and tours can be viewed by regular desktop and mobile devices; the full VR setup is optional for those who prefer the more intense experience.
Immersive media works, and can be the differentiator that gets people to choose your hotel over another, helping build up your hotel brand and hopefully create long-term, loyal guests.