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Taking ‘try before you buy’ to a whole new level

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Imagine walking into a travel agency and being virtually transported to your dream destination. You were completely soaked in the pool, watched the sunset and completely sold out. Book a trip, walk out of the store, and start counting the days. This isn’t sci-fi, it’s the power of VR right now, and the only glasses involved are those containing freshly made mojitos.

This exciting technology was at the center of a recent Spark academic project in which first-semester MBA students collaborated with Swiss tech company Inside Reality. The project, entitled Travel Agency 5.0, explored consumer experiences using immersive VR during the pre-purchase stage.

We specialize in glasses-free virtual reality. Through immersion rooms, consumers can experience different seasonal locations. They can explore their destinations virtually and have complete peace of mind that they are making the right purchase. It helps you better understand your decisions. Additionally, the software is completely web-based and runs without installation on most mobile or stationary devices. CEO Jürgen Debsmann

research. Analyze. report.

In every sector of the diverse hospitality industry, from tourism and events to luxury travel and hotel real estate, VR has the potential to improve customer experience while reducing carbon footprint. The task for his MBA students involved was to seek input on the technology’s potential before presenting the findings to Jürgen and his team.

Some of the milestones we achieved with the project were having students do detailed research first. In many cases, it was the first survey. We then expanded the scope of our research to multiple countries and analyzed the data to discover our findings. The final milestone was to present our findings to Inside Reality. The students were nervous, but they had solid data and the team was impressed. I was able to see the new technology from both a developer’s and an end-user’s point of view.

spark Academic projects allow undergraduate and graduate students to apply what they’ve learned to work on real-world projects with real companies. Participants work together to deliver results that are highly valuable and can be built upon. Moreover, real-world nature offers deep learning that cannot be achieved through theoretical studies alone.

This project helped me develop both hard and soft skills. I was able to see the new technology from both a developer’s and an end-user’s point of view. In terms of soft skills, I was working as a consultant, so I learned a lot about project management and how to deal with external companies. MBAs Student, Sauraf Kumar

Virtual reality is the reality of the future. With projects such as Travel Agency 5.0 connecting technology with consumers and discovering use cases, the hospitality industry is definitely at the beginning of the use of VR.

This whole concept of using VR in tourism is very new,says Soraf. Our survey found that about 73% of respondents are inclined to use this technology. I feel that every business has great potential in the future. It helps you dream more and experience your destination before you go and live it.

For Jürgen, it’s only a matter of time before immersive VR becomes the preferred method of choice for your next resort, hotel, cruise, or home. One thing we do know for sure is that industry expectations around immersion and sustainability are changing. VR helps companies reach out to new markets and customers through seamless, inspiring, and ethically aligned experiences.

About Les Roches

Les Roches is a Swiss institution focused on creating the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of tomorrow. Founded in 1954, Les Roches offers bachelor and postgraduate degrees in hospitality and tourism management following the Swiss educational model. It has campuses in Switzerland and Spain. A student body of over 100 different nationalities, the institution offers students a unique culturally diverse experience. As of 2021, Les Roches has an academic partnership with the Indian School of Hospitality (ISH) and has a partner his campus in Gurugram (Delhi NCR).

Les Roches is ranked among the top five higher education institutions in the world for Hospitality and Leisure Management and Employer Reputation (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2022). Part of Sommet Education, a world leader in hospitality education, Les Roches is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

For more information, see: Les Roches.

Anouk Weiss
Chief Communications Officer, Sommet Education
Les Roches

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