By Abubakar Yunus
In a world where competition is fierce and customer expectations are ever-evolving, the hospitality industry in Nigeria is undergoing a technological revolution to sell not just accommodations, but unforgettable experiences.
Virtual reality (VR) has become the secret weapon of hotels across the country, allowing them to immerse potential guests in their offerings like never before.
With the help of innovative companies like Opinow Media and Giditours, numerous establishments have harnessed the power of VR to showcase their properties and amenities, ultimately reaping the benefits through increased sales and brand recognition. Amongst the plethora of VR companies that have harness VR early on, Opinow Media VR has been seen to be a major pioneer of the adoption of VR in the hospitality market as our investigation owed the adoption of Hotels in the city of Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos to them.
One of the early adopters of VR technology in Nigeria was Barcelona Hotels, which set the pace back in 2018. By introducing a VR tour of their lavish entrance, they provided potential guests with an opportunity to explore their hotel from the comfort of their own homes. The result? An impressive increase in reservations and a boost in the brand’s reputation.
Ibeto Hotels also joined the VR revolution in 2019. By incorporating VR into their marketing strategy, they allowed prospective guests to walk through their luxurious accommodations and visualize the experience awaiting them. This innovative approach led to a significant uptick in bookings and customer engagement.
Hotels in Nigeria like Golden Tulip, Transcorp Hilton, SV Chrome, Hotel Presidential and Grand Pela Hotels were not far behind, each leveraging VR technology to showcase their facilities in ways that no brochure or website could. The impact on their sales was nothing short of remarkable, as these hotels experienced a surge in bookings and overall revenue.
Marketing managers from these hotels have been overwhelmingly positive about the use of VR. Mr Ambrose, the IT Manager at Ibeto Hotels, noted, “Virtual reality has allowed us to engage our customers on a whole new level. It’s not just about displaying our rooms; it’s about immersing potential guests in the Ibeto experience. The increase in bookings and positive feedback has been tremendous.”
Similarly, Mr Appiah Yeboah, the General Manager at SV Chrome, commented, “In a highly competitive market, offering a VR experience sets us apart. It has helped us attract not only more bookings but also longer stays. Guests already feel connected to our property before they arrive.”
Indigenous VR companies like Opinow Media has been a leading provider of VR products in Nigeria and has been at the forefront of delivering immersive products to hotels. This VR service ensures that they can provide potential guests with a taste of what’s in store while reducing the risk of unmet expections which may differ from what is advertised.
The use of VR in the hospitality sector is not just about keeping up with technology trends; it’s about providing guests with the opportunity to step inside the world of the hotel before they even arrive.
As the hospitality industry in Nigeria continues to evolve, it’s clear that the adoption of virtual reality is a game-changer that brings guests closer to their dream experiences and hotels closer to their business goals. With innovative companies and forward-thinking hotels leading the way, it’s safe to say that the immersive luxury trend is here to stay.