There is no denying that since the pandemic began, the travel industry has experienced a setback. But there are many reasons to be optimistic about travel and hospitality, particularly now that the metaverse may be on the horizon.
Numerous travel companies have already begun implementing VR and AR to help them stand out from the competitors, stress the quality of their services, and differentiate their offerings.
Even if virtual travel in the Metaverse isn’t expected to replace actual travel, it will undoubtedly enhance travel experiences in many ways.
How is the Travel Industry Being Affected by the Metaverse?
There are other potential vulnerabilities for the tourism industry besides the one that the COVID-19 outbreak disclosed. Customers might decide to go locally rather than abroad, for instance, if knowledge of climate change rises and more action is required.
These problems draw attention to one of the most important ways that the concept of metaverse tourism is transforming the travel sector. Interactive virtual worlds could alter how consumers engage with other places and, in some situations, even replace actual travel without hurting the sector.
The travel industry provides goods and services associated with travel. It extends beyond transportation and other services immediately associated with moving from one location to another. This includes services like delivering meals and drinks on the go and attending to the client’s requirements after they arrive. The travel and hospitality industries share a lot of similarities. The travel industry is different from the tourist industry, despite the fact that they are closely related.
The core business of the tourism sector is serving the needs of tourists who are going somewhere in particular and want to experience and engage with that location. Beyond the tourism sector, the travel business encompasses all forms of travel for a wide range of purposes. Airlines, train and coach services, water transportation, etc. are all part of the travel sector. Additionally, travel management covers passenger lodging and catering. Travel through the metaverse may become commonplace in the future.
Possibilities for Metaverse Travel Benefits
On the surface, it would seem that the metaverse poses a risk to the travel sector. After all, if people had the option to visit new locations virtually in 3D space, they might decide against doing so. However, it is unlikely that travel in the metaverse will ever entirely displace actual travel and remain merely a component of travel technology.
Travel experiences that are both immersive and interactive may be offered. People can go to many locations in the metaverse in ways that are not feasible in the physical world. This can entail going to places of historical interest, touring museums, or even going to live performances.
It can facilitate and improve the efficiency of journey planning. People may be able to communicate with travel brokers and tour guides in the metaverse or view 3D models of hotels and destinations. Making the most of their time and successfully planning their visits are both aided by this.
It might make it easier to travel with friends. In the metaverse, it is possible to attend virtual festivals and concerts as well as virtual get-togethers with friends and family. Making new friends and connecting with people who share their interests can both be facilitated by this.
For the travel sector, it can offer education and training. The travel sector can benefit from training and education offered through the metaverse. Training for tour guides, pilots, and travel agents may fall under this category. By doing this, the travel sector can be better prepared to handle future issues.
Overall, the travel sector could be completely transformed by the metaverse. The metaverse can improve travel by offering immersive and interactive travel experiences, improving the efficiency and convenience of trip planning, facilitating social travel experiences, and offering training and education for the travel industry.
Examples of Metaverse Application in the Travel Sector
Even though the metaverse is still in its early stages, several travel agencies are already utilizing the new technology.
VR tourism: immersive virtual travel
Real-world locales and locations are already available in virtual 3D representations from some organizations. You may now visit the Louvre Museum in Paris in virtual reality, for instance. Visitors who visit the museum virtually can explore the exhibits, take in performances, or even meet up with friends to take a tour of the space.
People who may not be able to travel physically may nonetheless be able to experience the globe through the metaverse, either as a substitute for actual travel or to get ready for future travel. One way this new technology can help the travel industry is by providing virtual tours and excursions through the Metaverse.
In-flight augmented reality
Virtual reality is distinct from augmented reality. The virtual aspect is superimposed on the surrounding actual environment rather than submerging you in it. A well-known example is the game Pokémon Go, where players may use their phone’s camera to view Titanic monsters in the real world.
In the context of Metaverse travel, augmented reality can present information such as menu prices and descriptions, building history, train schedules and connections, and more. This promotes visitors’ active participation in their surroundings and offers more purchasing options.
Facilitating online expos and trade shows
The COVID-19 epidemic had a significant influence on trade exhibitions, expos, and associated events; as a result, they had to go online. These occasions deal with many of the same problems that the travel and tourism sector as a whole does, like growing public concern over climate change.
Metaverse travel and tourism technologies can improve these online events by increasing the sensation of immersion. Online events can be copied, but social interactions that are most effective in person can also be imitated through the use of avatars, virtual reality, or other methods.
Theme parks and other attractions available online
Theme park enthusiasts are increasingly using virtual replicas of their favorite rides and attractions as a result of COVID limitations that restrict travel and even shut down some destinations. Although first-person videos of rides and other theme-park activities are nothing new, the Metaverse development enables users to interact with attractions in a completely new way.
Consider the possibility that guests can reserve a virtual zoo tour or a “ride” on a roller coaster with no lines. When guests might not be able or want to attend in person, virtual attractions could be a new source of income for struggling resorts and theme parks.