Marriott Hotels recently introduced two virtual reality travel experiences dubbed “Get Teleported” at the New York Marriott Marquis, and cities such as Boston, Washington, D.C., and Dallas. The new high tech experience was offered for 3 minutes at a time and available on site for a few days before moving to another hotel property. The virtual tours included a trip to downtown London another trip to Maui, Hawaii, both of which were highly interactive including flying above sky scrapers and touring sandy beaches.
The experiences were offered in enclosures much like phone booths, employing a virtual reality headset, wireless phones, and high-tech audiovisual capabilities, including 3D live-action video and 4D sensory effects heat, wind, and mist.
Michael Dail, VP of Brand Marketing at Marriott Hotels, states that Marriott aims to offer “destination sampling” allowing customers to virtually “visit locations before purchasing trips to those locations,” Dail points out, virtual reality is able to provide dynamic, engaging travel experiences that can’t be adequately conveyed in static print brochures and other conventional travel marketing materials. For example, the ability of users to “feel the heat of the sun” in some of these experiences “adds a whole new dimension” to those experiences.
The above excerpts are ones I reviewed on another blog, as I follow the hospitality / hotel industry and large chains closely. While I find this highly interesting, and a huge leap for technology in the hotel world, I do think that it is a slightly unnecessary investment. That being said, I definitely would not turn down the chance to try a virtual vacation!