With the extensive reach and endless possibilities of the metaverse, seeing how it finds common ground with tourism is easy. The future of metaverse tourism might be nearer than you think, thanks to the giant strides in Web 3.0. However, it will take intricate cooperation between the two industries to merge them.
Although it offers almost real-life experiences, the metaverse will not replace physical tourism, as some might think, given its features. Instead, it will augment the industry by boosting pre-travel marketing in a way never seen before in the world. People get to experience what they would pay for and make better comparisons among alternatives without leaving their homes.
The future of metaverse tourism looks very bright, given the surge of interest in the sector. We couldn’t agree more when Boeing’s partnership with Discovery Education brought virtual field trips to the classroom. Hence, we will explore this concept, including metaverse tourism examples, to give you a look at the future.
The Metaverse Technology
Before exploring metaverse virtual tourism, we must understand the technology itself. That will give you a better perspective on how the two industries merge.
Facebook and Microsoft’s announcements of investments in the metaverse marked a turning point in technology. However, this virtual world has seen more growth in its game application than in any other sector. You can mention Facebook’s Oculus VR and Horizon Worlds, which launched in late 2021. The Metaverse is already starting to take gaming, social media, and real estate to the next level.
The talk of avatars is no longer new to those familiar with the technology. They might form a big part of the future of metaverse tourism as it expands to accommodate social life.
Users in this virtual world use motion-sensing controllers, microphones, and heavy software integration to interact with objects and other users. That is basically the whole concept of the metaverse. Of course, you can include avatars, assets, and games.
Metaverse development companies are already seeing success in virtual meetings. More ideas are being developed to provide users with more options in this novel technology. However, its application in tourism presents a unique opportunity for the hospitality industry.
Metaverse and the Connection with Virtual Tourism
Virtual tours are not new, but the metaverse brings an expanded view beyond sightseeing. It offers an experience complete with interaction with objects and other users. That way, it feels more like the real world than watching a movie-like tour.
Users can take that trip virtually before hopping on the next flight. They can experience beautiful sights and spotless accommodation services and enjoy the feeling of interacting with the environment. Ultimately, tourism and the metaverse meet at the point of virtual experiences.
That would define the future of metaverse tourism, but there is more. The creators of this virtual world must create a replica of the real thing. That could be the hotel rooms, landscape, flights, waterfalls, or anything related found in the real-world location.
Imagine seeing the Eiffel Tower not as a picture or video but as if you were physically in France. What about having a tour of the Vatican museums without stepping foot in the city? The possibilities of metaverse virtual tourism are endless.
You can see the connection between these two sectors. The tourism industry does not have to change a thing about itself. Instead, it adds a digital dimension to the entire experience, giving people the flexibility to experience things before being physically present.
While it might seem that the future of metaverse tourism excludes physical travel, that is far from the truth. You could state all the benefits of virtual tours. However, there is one thing about us humans: we are social beings. Avatars and virtual worlds will not just cut it for us but will be critical components.
With that in mind, let us see what travel and tourism in the metaverse will be like in the future.
The Future of Metaverse Tourism
The metaverse will not eliminate physical tours. Instead, it will augment them, allowing travelers to experience what they expected before going there. It could range from hotel stays to drives through cities and even flights.
The future of metaverse tourism will bring marketing opportunities for hospitality organizations. These businesses can get more creative and persuasive with immersive experiences. While video marketing is the current media king, a single immersive virtual experience will blow it out of the water.
Customers don’t have to spend hours reading reviews and watching ads when they can try out the product or service for themselves. Metaverse travelers can hop on flights and use tourist products, including hotel stays. The list continues, with our creativity being our only limitation.
Virtual tours are just one aspect that will take prominence in the future of metaverse tourism. Others will be just as important, like making actual purchases, attending events, and even owning NFTs. Of course, businesses will try to outdo each other to attract customers.
Imagine a scenario where you can tour your hotel room, sleep on the bed, count the tables in an event venue, etc. These and many more will be the future of metaverse tourism. You can experience whatever it is you are traveling to get.
Challenges for the Future of Metaverse Tourism
Like most innovations, the metaverse and the tourism of the future must overcome challenges to have mainstream significance in the industry. That includes breaking social bias and becoming integral to businesses and interactions.
There must be a shift as people choose virtual tours over video marketing and text media. The challenges ahead might be many, but they are surmountable. However, it will take heavy investments in the sector to drive its growth and implementation.
With that in mind, the following are the limitations for the future of metaverse tourism:
Nothing will draw back the metaverse implementation in the tourism industry like hardware. Currently, we depend on virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) to have real-life but digital experiences.
The hardware providing these possibilities is not lightweight or even affordable. As a result, widespread adoption is slow, especially in less technologically developed regions.
Accessibility is one thing, but functionality is even more pertinent. Virtual reality headsets must achieve retinal display to have visual appeal to customers. We are confident you will not like to take a digital tour with a tool that does not give you crisp imagery for real-life immersion.
Software implementation is another crucial challenge facing the future of metaverse tourism. Creators must recreate physical locations like tourist sites, hotel rooms, and even flight experiences for the users. Of course, we should be able to walk, touch, and even carry things in the virtual world.
Software implementation has gone a long way in virtual games but not as fast in the tourism industry. You might attribute that to inadequate investment, but creating true-to-life scenarios is no easy feat. For now, we can only give kudos to the developers working on bringing this concept to actualization.
Identity will be a significant player in the virtual world. In real life, we mainly recognize people by their facial looks. Then, attributes like voice, height, skin tone, hair color, and what have you come in.
While we can recreate avatars that look and speak like us, you might not know if there is a real person behind the avatar or just a bot. Moreover, we already have chatbots on our social media today.
Identity brings trust in our society, and the same holds for the metaverse. If we can make an exact digital copy of ourselves, we’ll be one step closer to making the bright future of metaverse tourism a reality.
Time and Space
Time and space perception challenges the future of the metaverse in tourism. The digital world experiences time differently, regardless of how much we try to marry it with the real world.
Although they seem simple, time and space might just be the most complex concepts to grasp. Users must have something to keep themselves in check with the real world. This challenge is not just for developers alone but also those using the platform.
Already, we lose most of our real-world consciousness when we put on a virtual reality headset. How much more goes on a digital tour interacting with objects and other users?
The last challenge will be accepted. How many people will accept the novelty as part of their real-life experiences?
The use of metaverse in tourism is more likely to go over well with Gen Zs and be adopted by them. That will be especially true for marketing and promotional content. However, while they are open to it, the cost will play a significant role.
Gen Zs might have difficulty increasing financially into metaverse tourism, not when they grapple with student loans. The older ones that are economically capable might not be tech-savvy enough to have an interest.
The digital space has become an extension of our natural world. Developers and businesses are exploring the metaverse in healthcare, gaming, and travel. That shows that the future of metaverse tourism is viable.