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Back in January, Michelle Lapierre, Senior Director Customer Experience and Social Media, Marriott Rewards, told Loyalty360 that brand loyalty extends beyond revenue.
“We now have to take into consideration a much longer process to gain brand loyalists,” Lapierre said at the time. “It is no longer a look at how much value a loyal customer brings based on revenue, but how these loyal customers help to shape the brand.”
As a result, Marriott Hotels this week announced the launch of “VRoom Service”– a first-of-its-kind guest service that allows guests to order inspiring virtual reality experiences to their rooms. Created in collaboration with Samsung Electronics America, “VRoom Service” marks a first in the travel industry. The launch represents the latest in a series of innovations by the Marriott International flagship brand that is changing how people travel.
Guests are invited to call a dedicated VRoom Service extension or use Marriott’s Mobile Request app to request a Samsung Gear VR headset and accompanying headphones. Once they are hand-delivered to the rooms along with easy-to-use instructions, they are available on loan to guests for up to 24-hours. The program is currently being tested for two weeks at the New York Marriott Marquis and London Marriott Park Lane properties.
What’s more, Marriott launched its new virtual travel content platform–“VR Postcards”. VR Postcards are intimate and immersive travel stories that users experience in 360 3D via a virtual reality headset. Each story follows a real traveler on a journey to a unique destination; viewers are immersed in the destination and hear the travelers’ personal stories about why travel is important to them. The first three VR Postcards were shot in the Andes Mountains in Chile, an ice cream shop in Rwanda and in the bustling streets of Beijing.
“Travel expands our minds and helps push our imagination,” said Matthew Carroll, vice president, Marriott Hotels. “Our guests want to be in inventive spaces that help foster their creativity and thinking. VRoom combines storytelling with technology, two things that are important to next generation travelers.”
VR Postcards will be available to guests partaking in VRoom Service at select properties, as well as to the general public via Samsung Milk VR premium video service, accessed via the Samsung Gear VR headset. In addition, Marriott again worked with Framestore’s Virtual Reality Studio to develop the technologies and techniques used in creating the VR Postcards experiences.
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