A brand of affordable luxury hotels that launched in 2008, citizenM has announced it will purchase a digital land site in The Sandbox, a virtual game world owned by Animoca Brands. With this venture, citizenM claims it will become the first-ever hospitality group to build a hotel in the metaverse.
In The Sandbox, users can create and monetize their own worlds and game experiences on what the game calls LANDs, which are NFTs that represent virtual real estate. After purchasing its LAND, citizenM aims to finance the build of its virtual hotel by selling collections of digital art as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Purchasers also will receive discounts and rewards at citizenM’s portfolio of real-world hotels. At citizenM’s virtual hotel, avatars can virtually work, sleep, and play.
Once its meta-hotel is built, citizenM intends to collaborate with an additional roster of digital artists to create and sell NFTs. Eventually, citizenM will use the profits from these NFT sales to fully finance a physical, real-life property, whose location will be determined by a vote among token holders.
citizenM has sought to innovate in various aspects of the hospitality industry, from its app-based, fully contactless operations to its development of creative subscription services and its use of modular construction methods. The Netherlands-based brand is currently expanding its real-world hotel portfolio in North America.
“We are thrilled to be the first hospitality company to build in the metaverse,” Robin Chadha, CMO of citizenM, says in a statement. “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.”