CIM: Mr. Müller, everyone is currently talking about the metaverse. Do hotels really need to get on board there now?
Florian Müller: First of all, it’s important to know that Web 3.0 is more than just the metaverse. Web 3.0 is the iceberg, and the metaverse is only the tip that is currently peeking out. Whether and how all this will catch on is still difficult to tell, in my opinion.
So a “wait and see” approach with open ears and eyes?
A “proactive wait and see” would be the better term. Right now, only a few ten thousand people regularly use the metaverse worldwide, so it’s definitely not a case of mass adoption. Those who now seek a presence in the metaverse with their hotel will probably not benefit directly. Walking around the hotel with an avatar and viewing the rooms is also not really a genuine application; you can do that much better with well-made web tools or videos. But it is important to think about this issue now, because Web 3.0 is coming.
How do you think hotels could potentially benefit from Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 offers hotels a whole range of new “tools”: be it digital currencies that could dominate payment transactions going forward, or metaverse experiences that solve various processes better or more simply, for example. In this case, say, the digital concierge in the metaverse could be an application that uses AI to answer guests‘ questions and provide support.
Sounds like a nice and practical perk for the guest. Are there any digital innovations no hotelier will be able to get around?
Yes, cryptocurrencies and digital payment in general. You have to stay on the ball now to avoid being left behind soon. We believe that paying with cryptocurrencies will soon be as normal as paying by credit card.
If you want to gaze into the crystal ball a bit: When will we all be on Web 3.0?
Well, nobody knows what, say, Meta or Asian firms are cooking up. For me, it is clear that sooner or later there will be a new mode of interaction – whether it will happen in one or ten years’ time, only the crystal ball can tell.