The metaverse is changing the way we think about travel, prompting the question for the year ahead – is it necessary to physically be present in a location to experience it?
The metaverse is opening up a world of possibilities for virtual travel and experiences thanks to the advances in virtual and augmented reality technology, and travel companies are leveraging the immersive virtual world to enhance their travel services.
Similar to how you may shop for a new pair of shoes or test drive a brand-new car, experts predict that in 2023 travel agents will begin offering online virtual tours for travelers to test out destinations of their choice in the metaverse. A ‘try before you buy’ approach.
Travelers can wander through European cobblestone grounds, explore a cruise ship, or experience an African safari tour using Virtual Reality headsets to get a feel for the trip before committing to booking it.
As airports become more automated, experts predict metaverse operations will optimize the processes in airports, improving efficiency for both employees and travelers.
Qatar Airways is one of many travel companies incorporating the metaverse into its QVerse, providing a Metahuman cabin member to assist you with your departure.
The concept of combining real-world and metaverse experiences is thoroughly considered. Walt Disney Company, for example, is planning a real-world theme park that features 3D metaverse experiences where tourists can be immersed in the real story without having to watch actors perform.
Though all of this technology is undoubtedly fascinating, many believe it takes away from the true essence of travel—physically experiencing the unknown, interacting with strangers that turn into friends, and piquing our curiosity for more. 2023 will unveil whether or not this trend will land and stick in the travel industry.