Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Rixos Hotels and Villas

Turkey seems to be one of the up-and-coming countries in Second Life at the moment. Nic Mitham at Kzero pointed me at this newpaper article that gives a little more insight into this. I mention all of this because the subject of today's post is - I believe - my first Turkish company.

Rixos, founded in Turkey in 2000, runs a chain of hotels and villa complexes that spans some fairly diverse locations, including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Austria, Dubai and...umm... Second Life. In fact they've had a Second Life hotel since September, 2007 - as discussed at Kzero in this article. More recently they have added the adjacent Rixos Villas island. The company is taking an interesting, "immersive" approach to Second Life, in that the hotel and villas are not just acting as 3D billboards. The villas are available for rent, as are the hotel rooms. Indeed, Rixos are taking a commercial approach to the entire venture. In the hotel complex, for example, there is a wedding area, that I assume is available for hire; there is a row of shops for rent and even a game of pool in the hotel bar is going to set you back 50L$.

On my trip I did not see any sign of activity and as far as I could make out, only one or two of the villas were rented out. Maybe I hit the place at a bad time, or maybe it just isn't getting (or retaining) the traffic it might expect. Vestel seems to have established an active Turkish community in Second Life, by providing a "virtual home from home" for Turks - a place where people can meet and communicate in their own language. Given that it is a player in the tourism industry, Rixos is presumably aiming at a more international market. However, I think in doing so they may be missing an opportunity to attract and retain a Turkish community.

Anyway, here's my pictures:

As you can see, the place is nicely built and I think well thought-out, though I don't know about the practicality of the "golf course", as I saw nothing to indicate you could actually play it.

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