How the Metaverse Will Transform the Travel Industry
3 May 2022
Travel in the metaverse won’t replace the real deal – but immersive experiences of all kinds are already improving travel and hospitality.
There’s no doubt about it: The travel industry has taken a beating since the beginning of the pandemic.
But there is plenty of reason for hope for travel and hospitality, especially with the potential of the metaverse right around the corner.
Many travel companies are already embracing VR and AR to help them differentiate their offerings, emphasize their positioning as high-quality service providers, and stay ahead of the competition.
While virtual travel in the metaverse is not likely to replace the real thing, the metaverse will certainly improve travel experiences in many ways. Let’s take a look at some of the fascinating things we can expect from metaverse travel:
Put on Your Headset to Travel the World
In the metaverse, we’ll be able to teleport to locations all over the planet and experience anywhere in real-time. These advances will completely shift our relationship with travel, because they will cut down on the amount of time we spend waiting on train platforms, standing in security lines, or worrying about missing buses.
Companies like these offer immersive tours and virtual travel experiences of all kinds:
- Google Earth VR
- Overview Collection’s Escape Now
- Immerse from The Hydrous
- First Airlines’ first-class airline flights with four-course meals
Here are some other ways VR will transform travel in the metaverse:
- “Try before you buy” VR experiences. Immersive experiences like Travel World VR allow travelers to try out accommodations and destinations before booking real-world tickets. These kinds of experiences will be a huge marketing boost for hotel brands, travel agents, resorts, and tour operators.
- Booking travel in VR. Some agents and hotels are encouraging their customers to book trips or hotel stays in the VR world through platforms like Amadeus Navitaire and SkyNav, rather than clicking on a mouse or tapping on a screen.
- Improved customer service. Brands can improve their reputation and engage with customers in countless ways in the metaverse. Visitors and guests will be able to purchase souvenirs, book flights home, ask questions about room service, or use concierge services, all in a VR environment.
- In-flight entertainment. Imagine being able to break up the monotony and boredom of a long-haul flight by putting on a VR headset and entering the metaverse. Immersive experiences could not only be entertaining on flights or train trips, but they could also ease anxiety.
Getting More Out of Your Vacation with Augmented Reality (AR)
Once you reach your real-life destination, features of the metaverse will help you get around and get more out of your travel experience.
AR mobile apps like City Guide Tour offer on-screen information about landmarks, museums, galleries, parks, and other places of interest, museums, as you stroll through a city or town. The mobile app Street Life gives you access to a library of crowdsourced guided tours that you can watch from home, or use to navigate your in-person travel adventures. You can even upload your own images and videos to Street Life!
The Chinese ride-sharing AR app Didi guides passengers through buildings to find their specific pick-up locations, and there is an AR cocktail experience called Mirage by City Social that pairs real-life drinks with artistic digital overlays.
What’s Coming for Travel in the Metaverse
Even Marriott Bonvoy is getting on board the metaverse trend. In December 2021, the luxury hotel brand partnered with up-and-coming artists JVY, TXREK, and Erick Nicolay to create three non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The NFTs were awarded – along with 200,000 Marriott Bonvoy points each – to three lucky winners.
From better booking, to virtual try-before-you-buy experiences, to useful AR apps that make your travel life easier and smoother, travel in the metaverse will be a whole new world.
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