The Metaverse and Tourism – How the Tourism Sector will benefit from virtual worlds?

Published on November 18, 2022

The idea of the metaverse has existed for longer than most people know, but it has become a more well-known concept only recently as its technology has advanced. 

This has created many metaverse tourism opportunities, which different countries and businesses are keen to capitalize on. 

The connection between the metaverse and tourism is apparent in the facility for creating virtual real-world objects and environments. 

Although the two technologies are not synonymous, the metaverse goes hand-in-hand with the idea of VR.

However, it is critical to differentiate metaverse and VR tourism, as the former is capable of much more than just VR experiences.

The metaverse will not replace physical travel – it creates a desire to travel

Just as goldfish in a fish tank can’t see what’s on the other side of their glass prison, we can’t yet see what wonders await the travel industry in the metaverse.

However, one thing is for sure, it will not replace physical travel; it will only create more desire to travel, and also augment and enhance our travel experiences. It will additionally enable those that cannot travel for one reason or the other to virtually experience visiting countries and places. 

How will this be possible?

In the metaverse, technological devices allow users to have different sensations, such as sight, hearing, touch and even smell. 

The metaverse results from the interaction between a user, a device, and the environment or other people around them.

They can easily be in a tourist’s shoe sightseeing on the other end of the globe while sitting in their home.

Through an avatar, the user can embody a tourist and follow a virtual tour route.

This way, it provides travellers with a clear idea of what they can expect when they visit a particular destination.

Although the experience is indeed virtual, the senses are put to work, stimulating certain situations that are desired.

This way, the virtual reality headset will allow travellers to experience things that were previously intangible and reconnect with the senses. 

In a sense, metaverse products and experiences could aid in expanding the range of tourism resources and support sustainable tourism.

Metaverse offers a new instrument for the tourism industry

For now, the benefits of tourism in the metaverse should not cause panic in the tourism and travel sector. 

In my opinion, virtual travel experiences will not affect bookings for physical vacations in fact will most likely create more demand and enhance experiences. 

A study has shown that scores given to the perceived ease of use were greater among those who made their travel bookings in the more immersive virtual reality environment.

Those in the virtual reality environment were positively affected to visit a destination. 

So, the metaverse only offers a new instrument for the tourism industry to connect with its consumers. 

It only improves the travel experience by leveraging the benefits of 3D and virtual realities.

Metaverse can inspire tourists to complete a booking

The same concept can be applied to comparing hotels and transportation.

3D and VR experiences help potential guests understand what facilities and features a hotel, restaurant, or resort has to offer or how long that journey will take. 

Ultimately, this means that metaverse tourism can help encourage tourists to complete a booking

They can use virtual tours of two different hotels in the virtual world to find the better choice for their vacation. 

Hotels could also use the metaverse to increase weekday booking numbers.

In addition, they could encourage potential customers to explore additional optional packages or upgraded rooms. 

Event planners could use the metaverse to promote top-tier ticket sales, such as VIP event areas. 

Final remarks

The metaverse has created many promising opportunities for the tourism and travel sector. 

Consumers can capitalise on these opportunities by experiencing a new and more immersive form of metaverse tourism. 

On top of it, hotels and other hospitality organisations can use the metaverse to improve operational efficiency. 

Metaverse tourism is changing the relationship between businesses and their customers as it bridges physical distances and offers new experiences. 

In the end, the metaverse concept inspires customers and provides valuable information about a travel destination or package that is likely to increase bookings.



About the Author

Mohammad J Sear is focused on bringing purpose to digital in government.

He has obtained his leadership training from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA and holds an MBA from the University of Leicester, UK.

After a successful 12+ years career in the UK government during the premiership of three Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair, Mohammad moved to the private sector and has now for 20+ years been advising government organizations in the UK, Middle East, Australasia and South Asia on strategic challenges and digital transformation.

He is currently working for Ernst & Young (EY) and leading the Digital Government practice efforts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and is also a Digital Government and Innovation lecturer at the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po, France.

As a thought-leader some of the articles he has authored include: “Digital is great but exclusion isn’t – make data work for driving better digital inclusion” published in Harvard Business Review, “Holistic Digital Government” published in the MIT Technology Review, “Want To Make Citizens Happy – Put Experience First” published in Forbes Middle East.

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