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citizenM was launched with a purpose – to disrupt the traditional hotel industry, and to create a hotel for modern travellers, giving them everything they need and nothing they don’t with the strap line of ‘affordable luxury for the people’ guiding the brand. This ethos remains behind the citizenM move into the metaverse, and having spent the pandemic period focusing on building customer loyalty with the trial launch of subscription products, the brand is now focusing on building loyalty in the online world.
The group has acquired LAND in The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming virtual world and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, to begin building a hotel in the Metaverse. This signifies a new movement in hospitality, as citizenM will be the first ever hotel group to purchase LAND in The Sandbox which is a metaverse where users can create and monetize their own distinct worlds and game experiences on LANDs, which are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that represent virtual real estate in The Sandbox.
As with all of its hotels, citizenM will bring art to the forefront by showcasing and selling future NFT collections that will be commissioned with growing talent in the digital art space. Once the LAND is purchased, citizenM aims to finance the build of a hotel in the virtual world through the sale of an exclusive collection of NFTs with real-world rewards (utilities) attached. Each of the 2000 NFTs will be priced equally, however purchasers will at random be assigned one of three levels: 1500 ‘regular’ citizens, 450 ‘special’ citizens and 50 ‘legendary’ citizens. The utilities will take the form of discounts, free drinks and more with the specifics of the rewards being determined by the level of NFT assigned to the purchaser. Straddling the gap between virtual and reality, the rewards will be redeemable at any of citizenM’s growing portfolio of hotels in the real world.
“We are thrilled to be the first hospitality company to build in the Metaverse,” said Robin Chadha,CMO of citizenM. “As a brand that has always pushed the boundaries and challenged traditional models, this new venture in The Sandbox fits not only with our brand strategy but also the commitment we have to the creative community and to our guests both online and in the real world. We’re excited to further explore opportunities in the Metaverse in the years to come.”
Once the virtual hotel – a location for avatars visiting The Sandbox to Work, Sleep & Play – is built, citizenM will collaborate with an additional roster of digital artists to create and sell NFTs that can be purchased in the digital space.
Eventually, the brand plans to use these profits, as well as the incorporation of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), to fully finance a physical, real-life property where token holders will vote on the location. In line with the brand’s ethos, citizenM will ultimately build a hotel for the people, by the people.
Main image credit: citizenM