How does one travel in the Metaverse?

How will people travel in the future? And more importantly, where? The answer is, only apparently, simple: in the metaverse. Or rather in the metaverse, because of digital universes there will be not just one, but many, multiple, different ones.

The metaverse is a revolution that is going to change lives and patterns of reference with reality (and in many cases is already doing so). Cascading through it will most likely be changes in how people pay, how they search for information, how they relate to places, the very concept of hospitality.

Each of us is wondering to imagine, to predict, to figure out whether and how to act in advance. Metaverses will change the relationship between businesses and tourists, bridging physical distances and offering new types of experiences.

What is the time frame for this revolution to be said to be accomplished? What are the innovations compared to the oft-evoked world of “Second Life”? What are the opportunities for different areas of tourism? Is it more correct to speak of substitution or complementarity between worlds?

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The best of all possible worlds or a business strategy? Between utopia and business, the truth about the metaverse lies in the middle. As Gian Luca Comandini, an entrepreneur, university professor, blockchain expert, and member of the ministerial task force for technological transition explains, “the metaverse is the necessary evolution of the web. A network of 3d virtual worlds that lives thanks to social interaction and uninterrupted internet connection.

“Even in the tourism industry there are some realities that are moving in this direction,” he noted. Such as Ana Holdings, the Japanese company that proposes a digital platform that several countries around the world can join to offer digital travel experiences through visors; or Seoul Metaverse, a virtual city in which the South Korean capital has invested more than $3 million, in which it is possible through one’s avatar to take a walk, visit monuments or even carry out paperwork in municipal offices.

The Metaverse is, at least semantically, the opposite of tourism. The Cambridge Dictionary defines travel as “the act of moving, usually over a long distance.” But, in metaverses, there are no distances, as the very notion of space is meaningless in a virtual environment. That is why most insiders are still skeptical about possible meta-applications in the field. If you remove an essential part (distance) from the travel equation, only motion remains. And also the question: is travel without distance still travel? Or is it something else? It is a legitimate question, yet I doubt that the Metaverse will have a negative impact on tourism, quite the contrary. If anything, it will complement it.

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Metatourism is unlikely to replace physical tourism, but it will definitely play a role, especially in the early stages of the traveler’s journey. Currently, we choose a hotel based our decision on photos, videos, and reviews. Most travel metaverses can already provide a much more immersive and frictionless experience, allowing users to “visit” a destination, book a room or table at a restaurant from the comfort of their couch, and ultimately experience it IRL. No static image, 2D video or Web site will ever be able to provide something like this. Think of apps like National Geographic Explore VR, Wander, BRINK Traveller or one of my favorites, Alcove VR bus tours. The “embodied Internet” is virgin territory for our industry, and we are only scratching the surface of the technology.

How does one travel in the Metaverse?
How does one travel in the Metaverse?

How does one travel in the Metaverse?


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