citizenM – the pioneer of affordable luxury hotels – today announced that it will acquire a LAND site in The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming virtual world and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, to begin building a hotel in the Metaverse. This venture signifies a new movement in hospitality, as citizenM will be the first hotel group to buy LAND in The Sandbox.

Recently featured as a metaverse pioneer by The Wall Street Journal and CNBC, The Sandbox is a metaverse where users can create and monetize their own distinct gaming worlds and experiences on LANDs, which are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that represent virtual real estate in The Sandbox.

After spending the pandemic period focusing on customer retention with the trial launch of subscription products and a new iteration to be announced in the coming weeks, citizenM is now focusing on customer retention in the online world.

As with all of its hotels, citizenM will put art first by showcasing and selling future NFT collections which will be commissioned from growing talent in the digital art space. Once LAND is purchased, citizenM aims to fund the construction of a hotel in the virtual world through the sale of an exclusive collection of NFTs with real-world (utility) rewards attached.

Each of the 2,000 NFTs will have the same price, but buyers will be randomly assigned one of three tiers: 1,500 “ordinary” citizens, 450 “special” citizens, and 50 “legendary” citizens. Utilities will come in the form of discounts, free drinks and more, with the specifics of the rewards determined by the level of NFT awarded to the buyer. Rewards will be redeemable at any of citizenM’s growing portfolio of real-world hotels.

“We are thrilled to be the first hospitality company to build in the Metaverse,” shares Robin Chadha, CMO of citizenM. “As a brand that has always pushed boundaries and challenged traditional models, this new venture into The Sandbox aligns not only with our brand strategy, but also with the commitment we have to the creative community and to our guests, online and in the real world. We’re excited to explore more 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 work 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, along with the constitution of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), to fully fund real physical ownership where token holders will vote on location. In line with the brand philosophy, citizenM will ultimately build a hotel for the people, by the people.

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