The metaverse is a virtual 3D space where individuals can meet and engage in shared immersive experiences with realistic visuals or those that defy reality. The origins of the metaverse are deeply rooted in gaming and entertainment, but the metaverse is now transcending these boundaries with a rising interest in virtual travel experiences. These aren't just digital destinations; they're the epitome of luxury travel in the virtual world, offering both unique and innovative experiences. This blog dives into the role of metaverse resorts in the travel industry, highlighting how they're redefining luxury, the potential of these experiences, and how brands or creators can easily design and build virtual getaways, hotels, and resorts in the 3D internet.
A new definition of luxury travel
The 3D internet offers a new avenue for individuals to experience luxury travel through exclusive, creative, and personalized digital experiences that aim to be best-in-class.
Here’s how the metaverse is redefining luxury travel:
Exclusivity: In the physical world, luxury often equates to exclusivity, which is no different in the metaverse. Virtual lands, properties, and experiences are being sold for millions of dollars, with some spaces being limited to a select few. An article published by CNBC revealed that an organization sold around 100 virtual private islands worth $15,000 each in 2021. In 2022, that figure reached $300,000 each, equating to the cost of an average American home. This exclusivity can be attributed to the rarity of the digital asset, the prestige of a virtual location, or the uniqueness of an experience.
Creativity: The metaverse offers a canvas for creativity. Unlike the physical world, where the laws of physics and practicality limit architectural and experiential designs, the 3D internet is bound only by one’s imagination. Luxury in this context can mean having a mansion that defies gravity or visiting a resort that morphs according to your mood. The potential for innovative and surreal experiences is endless.
Personalization: In the metaverse, the hospitality industry can tailor every experience to an individual's preferences. From the aesthetics of a virtual space to the ambient sounds, hotels and resorts can customize everything. The 3D internet can also offer virtual concierges and avatar-based travel agents who can tailor recommendations and trip itineraries based on an individual’s preferences, an aspect traditionally restricted to being communicated over the phone or emails. This level of personalization ensures that every luxury experience in the metaverse is unique to the individual, making it even more valuable.
Traditional Luxury Travel vs. Metaverse Luxury Travel
Luxury travel in the metaverse differs from real-world experiences based on three main aspects:
Cost: Traditional luxury travel involves significant costs, including transportation (often first-class or private) and accommodation. These costs can run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single trip. In contrast, while specific experiences in the metaverse can be expensive (like buying a piece of prime virtual real estate), the cost of ‘traveling’ and ‘staying’ in a metaverse resort is often a fraction of its real-world counterpart. For instance, the BCB group built a metaverse city that allows individuals to visit the world’s iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Great Wall of China. The total cost of visiting these locations, in reality, would come up to $7,600, while the virtual platform charges a minimal fee to make a trip. However, as the 3D internet evolves and its perceived value increases, the cost of luxury experiences within it may also rise.
Accessibility: Physical luxury destinations requires travelling, which can be time-consuming and sometimes challenging due to visa restrictions, physical limitations, remoteness of locations, or health concerns. The metaverse, on the other hand, is accessible to anyone with an internet connection and the necessary hardware like a smartphone, desktop, or head-mounted device. This accessibility democratizes luxury, allowing more people to experience it virtually.
Uniqueness: While traditional luxury travel offers unique experiences, like seeing the view of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower or chartering a yacht in the Mediterranean, the 3D internet can offer fictional experiences impossible in the real world like visiting Saturn or attending journeying inside a volcano.
Experiencing metaverse resorts
Metaverse resorts are virtual properties developed to cater to the diverse interests and desires of virtual travelers. They offer a virtual space to socialize, engage in multiple activities, and attend exclusive events.
Here's a detailed look at what visitors can experience in metaverse resorts:
Social interactions: Travelers can create and customize their avatars, representing themselves in the metaverse. These avatars can meet, interact, and join activities with other avatars worldwide. From virtual yoga sessions on a beach to dance parties in virtual clubs, travelers can participate in various activities. For instance, Regal Hotels established its presence on The Sandbox metaverse platform by launching a sustainability-theme metropolis with a convention center, shopping mall, and art gallery for individuals to meet and indulge in shared experiences.
Exploration of unique environments: In the 3D internet, virtual resort visitors can explore computer-generated environments, from a digital beach created with high-fidelity graphics to forests enhanced with realistic ambient sounds. Resorts and hotels can also offer unique tours that allow travelers to step back in time and walk the streets of ancient civilizations, interact with virtual locals, and learn about the past. For instance, in Philadelphia, a walking tour app called “Revolutionary Philadelphia” shows visitors what the city looked like during the Revolutionary War through 3D recreations of structures and individuals.
Participation in exclusive events: The travel industry globally is exploring the concept of offering access to events and experiences in the metaverse, like virtual concerts, art gallery tours, and fashion shows. Hotel chains like Marriott, Four Seasons, and Accor are some of the many in the hospitality industry partnering with augmented and virtual reality experience platform, Rendezverse, to bring customers virtual events, conventions, and exhibitions.
Building your dream metaverse getaway
Luxury hotel chians and creators can craft the perfect getaway and custom experiences in the metaverse with a range of tools and platforms available to develop virtual properties.
Here are a few steps to help build your metaverse getaway experience:
Step 1: Choose your virtual real estate
Before you start building, you need a piece of digital land in the metaverse to call your own. Platforms like Decentraland, The Sandbox, Somnium Space, and Cryptovoxels allow users to purchase virtual parcels of land where they can construct their dream resorts and getaway experiences. Considering factors like the features each platform offers, and its core demographic can help you make an informed decision about the best place to establish your virtual property. Within each platform, choosing plots of digital land that are located in areas that your target audience populates or that have virtual attractions around it can be an excellent choice to attract consumers. Millennium Hotels chose to launch its virtual hotel, M Social, on Decentraland in a prime location teeming with virtual bars and cafés to ensure their property is impossible for users to miss.
Step 2: Design with advanced tools
You can customize your piece of digital land by designing the property and adding virtual assets to reflect the vision of your resort. With the growing availability of easy-to-use software development kits on metaverse platforms and additional low and no-code tools to create 3D renders of your property, you have the power to create unique virtual experiences.
Landvault Create: Landvault Create is a no-code AI assistant coming soon to the Landvault tech stack. It allows users to create 3D structures and experiences through simple prompts. We'll also have a library of hundreds of thousands of assets that users can choose from to design, furnish, and customize their metaverse properties. Whether you'll wish to build a virtual beachfront villa or a mountaintop retreat, this tool offers several features to meet your needs.
Sandbox Game Maker: The Sandbox platform allows users to create, own, and monetize games and experiences through the ‘Game Maker.’ With its intuitive interface, users can design landscapes, place 3D structures within the space, and add interactive elements to their experience.
Minecraft WorldEdit: While primarily a game, Minecraft's building mechanics have been used by many to create intricate and expansive virtual properties and resorts. The world built with ‘blocks’ offers endless design possibilities. The WorldEdit tool Minecraft offers allows users to quickly place thousands of blocks to develop a design and easily copy–paste areas of a build. The feature is beneficial in designing realistic properties with intricate exteriors and interiors.
Step 3: Furnish your property with digital assets
Platforms like OpenSea and Rarible offer a marketplace for NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that can be used as unique digital assets in the 3D internet. From exclusive art pieces to designer furniture, users can purchase and place these assets within their virtual properties to add a personal touch.
Step 4: Integrate interactive experiences
Your metaverse getaway can be more than just visual. Platforms like Roblox and Unity offer tools to integrate interactive elements, games, and virtual reality into your experience.
Metaverse resorts redefine luxury by offering exclusivity, creativity, and personalization. Compared to traditional luxury travel, the 3D internet is cost-effective, accessible, and offers unique experiences that are impossible in the real world. These virtual resorts allow travelers to customize avatars, explore unique environments, and participate in exclusive events. With the evolution of advanced technology and the ease of using it, brands and creators can craft their own dream getaways on platforms like Decentraland or The Sandbox and by using tools like Landvault Create, offering opportunities for creativity and personalization.
Are you looking to create immersive luxury travel experiences in the metaverse? We can help develop, scale, and monetize your idea in the metaverse. Get in touch with us today!
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