Is the Metaverse a friend or foe to travel?

[adace-ad id="3134"]

As the past 18 months have shown, the future of travel isn’t what it used to be.

Now with the arrival of the “Metaverse” – the 3D augmented reality, version 2.0 of the internet heralded by Facebook – could the future of travel be about to change again?

[adace-ad id="3134"]

Regardless of the existential risk that people might stop traveling in the real world — like when Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character tries to do a “memory implant” vacation in Total Recall — this still raises all sorts of challenges for travel.

Should we claim “real estate” in the Metaverse, like we got dot-com headlines in the 2000s?

A plot of land in Decentraland, one of the most popular Metaverse environments, actually sold for $572,000 in April. And which Metaverse should we invest in: Facebook one, Decentraland, or any other version?

It’s Betamax Vs VHS all over again. Equally, who in your company should be driving this, technology or marketing?

There is a lot of confusion, mystery, and obvious hype around the Metaverse for sure. But without wanting to have all of Donald Rumsfeld, perhaps we can separate the known from the known unknown and the unknown unknown.

What can we say definitively about this now? Even by Facebook’s own definition, any kind of advanced Metaverse – a three-dimensional “embodied Internet” in which people can constantly “presence” and teleport to different places – remains elusive for many years. Not least that 3D glasses are nowhere near as popular with everyday use.

However, it should not be overlooked that the Metaverse is already very much upon us. Think virtual reality video games, cryptocurrency, and immersive online shopping experiences.

Metaverse and Travel

In travel, you do not need to think about virtual tour businesses that are interested in the minority or those that accept crypto payments (their number is increasing by the way).

Just think about how we navigate the streets of a new destination using satnav on our smartphones or live the holiday experiences of others vicariously through social media.

The most obvious question is whether or not any of this will actually replace the need or desire to travel in the real world. Just an idea, the commute to work was actually a lot quicker than anyone could have imagined because of COVID.

Matthew Chapman – Energy

In other words, we are already living in the future. So what is something we don’t know yet but need to think about for travel?

Perhaps the most obvious use of this is for inspiration. Anything that allows travelers to experience a hotel or destination while considering a purchase has tremendous potential. Imagine letting someone see the room, or even testing the bed sheets beforehand.

The next experience will be the booking experience and within that we should not overlook the payments. Once again, there is huge potential for an immersive experience that simulates the old travel agent we all loved. People can ask questions, combine products, pay in a more convenient way or even negotiate a better deal – all while feeling like they are in a familiar and safe environment.

An extension of this could be the customer service and the operations side of things. Even someone on a “real” vacation might still want to plunge into the Metaverse to solve a customer service problem, order food for their room, boost sales on some experience at the destination, or “see the manager.”

Another very important impact for travel companies is how Metaverse changes the employee experience. If employees can really gather in the Metaverse not just for meetings, but to do real-world activities like preparing food (via a robot) or guiding travelers around the museum (as a hologram), then we can hire someone in New Zealand to operate a hotel in New York.

In other words, there is a huge potential for the travel business to outpace competitors, at least temporarily. Miss this out at your peril, once this tip becomes a staple of hygiene.

And finally, what is an “unknown unknown”? To give us an idea of ​​how out of the ordinary we can be, just think about the predictions people were making around the internet in the late ’90s versus what actually happened.

The most obvious question is whether or not any of this will actually replace the need or desire to travel in the real world. Just an idea, the commute to work was actually a lot quicker than anyone could have imagined because of COVID.

Can you imagine how an environmental disaster would affect our ability to travel and the subsequent desire for Metaverse experiences?

If we were to really highlight the risks though, they would be as follows: unlike the internet boom, the players that will impact this are almost certain, namely Google, Apple and Facebook.

Do they have more control over travelers is good for our industry? Obviously, anyone who thinks the answer to that is yes actually lives in another reality.

[adace-ad id="3134"]

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Site Footer

Sliding Sidebar