Metaverse in Tourism

The Metaverse Era in Tourism Industry

The metaverse is seen as the next evolution of the internet—a collective space where physical and digital worlds converge to deliver more immersive, interactive virtual- or augmented-reality (VR/AR) user experiences, often referred to together as extended reality (XR).

Can Tourism and Technology work together

The Metaverse is like a superpower for tourism! When COVID-19 showed how travel can be tricky, and when we got worried about our planet's health, a new idea emerged. Imagine exploring places without actually going there - like using a magic screen! This clever trick is changing how we see the world. With the Metaverse, we can visit amazing spots and meet new people, all from our homes. It's like having a secret door to adventure that doesn't harm our planet. So, we're discovering places in a whole new way, like superheroes of travel!

Metaverse tourism can be accessed through

Everyday devices like mobile phones and computers are popular choices due to their processing power and accessibility. Smartphones, with their cameras and screens, are great for augmented reality, while computers, especially when paired with VR headsets, offer high levels of immersion and interactivity.

Virtual reality (VR) headsets are worn like goggles and transport users into entirely digital environments. They allow for immersive experiences, making virtual tours of hotels and destinations possible, enhancing the metaverse tourism adventure.

Augmented reality (AR) glasses overlay digital information onto the real world, providing context and reviews for real-life locations. These glasses can offer useful insights, like seeing restaurant reviews when looking at a restaurant in person.

Mixed reality headsets take AR a step further by allowing users to interact with digital objects and even enabling digital objects to interact with each other. This level of immersion is more advanced but still evolving.

Platforms Offering Metaverse With Tourism

  1. Expedia Group: Expedia has been experimenting with VR to offer virtual tours of destinations and accommodations, allowing travelers to experience places before they book.

  2. Marriott International: Marriott has used VR to offer "VRoom Service," allowing guests to request VR headsets to explore travel destinations from their rooms.

  3. Airbnb: Airbnb has shown interest in using AR to enhance the guest experience by providing information about accommodations and surroundings.

  4. Amadeus: Amadeus has been exploring the potential of VR and AR for travel planning, enabling users to virtually explore destinations and accommodations.

  5. Thomas Cook: The travel agency has experimented with VR in its stores to provide customers with virtual tours of destinations.

  6. Lufthansa: Lufthansa has used VR to offer travelers a virtual experience of their flight and destination before booking.

  7. Qantas: Qantas has utilized VR to provide passengers with a virtual preview of their flight experience and destinations.

  8. TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor has delved into VR and AR to provide travelers with captivating virtual experiences and interactive content, enriching their understanding of various travel destinations.

  9. Hilton: Hilton has employed VR to spotlight its properties, aiding guests in selecting accommodations through immersive showcases of its offerings.

  10. Google: Google, while not solely a travel company, employs AR and VR technologies in projects like "Google Earth VR," enabling users to explore global destinations virtually.

  11. Wayfair: Wayfair, known for home furnishings, utilizes AR to virtually position furniture in homes, potentially influencing how travelers visualize and choose accommodations.

Areas where we can use Metaverse with Tourism

  1. Virtual Tours and Travel Planning: Metaverse platforms can offer immersive virtual tours of accommodations, cruise ships, and transportation options, helping travelers choose accommodations and plan their itineraries.

  2. Cultural and Historical Education: Metaverse experiences can provide educational and interactive content about the cultural and historical significance of various destinations, enriching travelers' understanding and appreciation.

  3. Language and Cultural Immersion: AR and VR can be used to offer language learning experiences and cultural immersion programs, allowing travelers to familiarize themselves with local languages and customs.

  4. Virtual Events and Conferences: Travelers can attend virtual travel expos, conferences, and events in the metaverse, connecting with industry experts and fellow travelers from around the world.

  5. Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Travel: Metaverse tourism can promote sustainable travel by offering virtual experiences that reduce the environmental impact of physical travel.

  6. Local Experiences: Travelers can virtually engage in local activities, attend workshops, and explore hidden gems within destinations, offering a unique and personalized travel experience.

  7. Enhanced Booking and Customer Service: Metaverse technology can streamline the booking process and provide real-time customer service through virtual assistants, making travel arrangements more efficient.

  8. Destination Marketing and Promotion: Tourism boards and companies can create immersive metaverse experiences to showcase their destinations, attracting potential travelers through engaging content.

  9. Travel Inspiration and Storytelling: Travelers can share their experiences through metaverse platforms, inspiring others and contributing to a global community of travel enthusiasts.

  10. Accessible Travel: Metaverse technology can make travel accessible to individuals with physical limitations, allowing them to virtually experience destinations and attractions.

  11. Adventure and Extreme Experiences: Virtual reality can offer adrenaline-pumping experiences like skydiving or exploring extreme landscapes, catering to adventure travelers.

  12. Virtual Travel Agencies: Metaverse-based travel agencies can provide personalized travel advice, itineraries, and packages, helping travelers make informed decisions.

  13. Astronomy and Space Tourism: Metaverse platforms can simulate space travel experiences, offering users a taste of what space tourism might entail in the future.

  14. Entertainment and Recreation: Metaverse destinations can offer virtual amusement parks, concerts, and entertainment experiences, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to travel.

Some of the Examples Of Metaverse Used In Tourism in Real Life:

  1. Creating an augmented reality (AR) exhibition on the history of Notre-Dame de Paris could be a fascinating and educational experience for visitors.

  2. Responding to pandemic travel restrictions, ZEPETO World is a smartphone app that allows users to create personal avatars and travel around Korea. For example, the tour includes a highly detailed interactive map of Han River Park; this feature gets almost 257,000 visitors a day. Users are also able to communicate with each other, shop, and watch performances. ZEPETO World has approximately 190 million members.

  3. The BCB Group—a leading crypto banking group—has created a metaverse city that includes representations of some of the most visited destinations in the world, such as the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty. According to BCB, the total cost of flights, transfers, and entry for all these landmarks would come to $7,600—while a virtual trip would cost just over $2.

  4. Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) recently announced that the ancient city of Hegra had entered the metaverse, in line with a national program to drive technological transformation and innovation. It is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site to be placed in the metaverse, allowing digital tourists to explore the surroundings as well as Hegra’s Tomb of Lihyan son of Kuza.

  5. One of the most ambitious metaverse tourism projects comes from the Seoul Metropolitan Government, which has launched Metaverse Seoul – a metaverse replica of a real-life city. The creation of the virtual world itself is expected to finish in 2026, but the initial launch allows users to create avatars and interact in several vital ways.

  6. Rendezverse is a metaverse tourism and hospitality platform, which aims to reproduce the experience of events and conferences being held in hotels, but within a virtual space instead. Essentially, the platform allows hotels and event companies to create a digital version of a property, which users can then populate or explore.

  7. Qatar Airways has experimented with metaverse tourism options and produced some excellent results. The primary metaverse solution is QVerse, a virtual reality experience powered by Unreal Engine. Website visitors can access it, and it provides a virtual tour, highlighting what Business Class and Economy Class cabins look like.