The Metaverse Will Influence Travel Decisions in 2023, BookingCom Predicts
The extended COVID-19 lockdown changed the travel industry —and the lifestyle of millions of people. But now that the pandemic seems to be under control, businesses are looking to rise from the ashes with new ideas to engage customers, and the metaverse seems like an exciting topic to explore.
According to a survey conducted by the popular traveling portal Booking.com to more than 24,000 people in 32 countries, a considerable number of users responded that the metaverse could help them define their travel destination.
Next Vacation Destination: The Metaverse
The survey shows a significant interest among travelers in virtually experiencing destinations while choosing a place to spend their vacation. Of all of them, the most inclined to experience virtual trips in the metaverse are those from Generation Z (45%) and Millennials (43%). More than half of the respondents claimed that virtual reality is a viable tool when choosing a good travel destination.
Booking.com also says that 4,574 respondents were willing to travel to new places only upon having experienced them in the metaverse. Also, 35% of respondents are willing to spend several days in the metaverse to get a perspective on the environment and places that might catch their attention.
According to Booking.com, virtual reality and blockchain technologies will allow users to experience anything from a sunny beach to the desert without being physically on-site. However, 60% of respondents still believe that the experience offered by the metaverse and other virtual technologies does not compare to actually being there in person.
The Future of the Internet
The metaverse is a concept created to describe a persistent online 3D universe that combines multiple virtual spaces. It is like a futuristic vision of the Internet where users work, meet, play, and socialize together in an alternate reality.
Video games offer the closest metaverse experience there is; the developers have pushed the boundaries of what a game is by organizing in-game events and designing virtual economies. With that in mind, the metaverse is a virtual environment that attempts to replicate the real world on a digital foundation.
Some companies, like Microsoft and Meta, are working on their own virtual worlds, or “metaverses.” But other projects, like The Sandbox and Decentraland, are using the decentralized technology of blockchain to build metaverses that offer more privacy, openness, and depth. These initiatives have the backing of many fans who believe in their values and are willing to financially support them.
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I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.