Tuyere or gimmick? When travel meets metaverse

Recently, metaverse has become a hot topic. For the tourism industry deeply affected by the epidemic, is metaverse the next outlet full of opportunities or a gimmick whose name is greater than reality? From the perspective of metaverse, understanding the future development trend has certain enlightenment significance for the high-quality innovative development of tourism.

A6021 recently, the Zhangjiajie metaverse research integration development seminar and the listing ceremony of Zhangjiajie metaverse research center were held at the wujiayu ticket station of Wulingyuan District big data center. Since then, Zhangjiajie has become the first scenic spot in China to set up a metaverse research center. (provided by visual China)

One is the reconstruction of people: identity mapping realizes the identity isomerization of tourism subject.

Metaverse is essentially a virtual parallel world independent of the real world. In metaverse, the identity of each individual is different from the real identity in the real world. Through identity mapping, each individual can experience a life different from real life in metaverse and realize identity isomerization.

Metaverse’s concept of “identity isomerization through identity mapping” is consistent with some phenomena in the development of tourism.

The significance of tourism lies not only in seeing different scenery, but also in experiencing different life. The significance of tourism is to separate from day-to-day life and feel a different life in a strange environment. As tourists, individuals also pursue identity isomerization.

As can be seen from the hot script killing in recent years, this upsurge has extended to the tourism industry: the script killing experience project “I am the God of medicine” in Wangxian valley scenic spot of Shangrao, Jiangxi Province, and the real scene immersive detective hall “one point detective” created by Chengdu Qingcheng Mountain Tourist area combined with the home stay scene… The new combination of “script killing + tourism” has become a new trend in the tourism industry. The reason is that the script creates a game space free from daily life. People get a new identity in this space, experience Baiwei life through role-playing, and interpret “life is like a play” incisively and vividly. In this “game space”, the isomerization of identity gives people a new experience. On this basis, social attributes are superimposed to realize the interaction of identity based mapping.

The second is the reconstruction of the field: interactive experience creates an immersive tourism scene. In essence, the remote nature of tourism is the most prominent feature. “Living elsewhere” is a true portrayal of tourism motivation. The reason why people choose to travel is to feel the local conditions and customs full of cultural marks and experience the lifestyle with unique geographical characteristics. “Looking at flowers, punching in and taking photos” can not fully meet the needs of the public. People pay more attention to tourism experience and hope to integrate into the lives of local residents, showing the characteristics of “localization” of tourists. Based on this demand, tourism products focusing on immersive experience have become a good choice for tourists: China’s first real 360 degree immersive interactive performance “Nanjing wedding”, which integrates the unique cultural heritage of Nanjing, the ancient capital of the Six Dynasties, and allows tourists to change into traditional clothes around the story line of “eight joys in life”, Experience the story of Jinling in the highly restored ancient houses in Nanjing.

In addition to the traditional stage setting and atmosphere building, the application of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology has also played a positive role in the creation of immersive experience. Especially for the scenic spots and cultural pavilions with the theme of history and culture, it is difficult for tourists to fully understand their full connotation only by the ruins. Through the vivid reproduction of VR, AR and multimedia interactive technology, tourists can get a more comprehensive and intuitive feeling and experience. The exhibition “boats on the canal” of China Grand Canal Museum vividly shows the historical picture of ancient boats passing through the canal through the restoration of ancient “sand ships”, traces back thousands of years, and creates an immersive experience of “people swimming in the painting”. Immersive experience is one of the basic features of metaverse. VR, AR and MR, as the technical cornerstone of building metaverse, provide the possibility of building a virtual world and create new ideas for the expansion and reconstruction of tourism scenes.

Third, the reconstruction of things: value co creation promotes the sustainability of tourism resources. As a tourist attraction, the non renewable nature of some tourism resources is the core value. Non renewable means that its value as a tourist attraction is limited. Once it is over developed or artificially damaged, the loss will be irreparable. Fortunately, modern science and technology can effectively help solve this problem. For example, digitization revitalizes cultural heritage. The “digital provider” project of Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes has ushered in the “digital rebirth” of the Millennium Dunhuang murals in the Internet era.

In addition, the “cloud tourism” and virtual tourism spawned by the epidemic have also attracted the attention of the market. Digital copyright protection in the Internet era is an inevitable pain point in the value transformation of virtual tourism. For this pain point, metaverse solves the problem of digital copyright by relying on NFT (non homogeneous certificate). The decentralized characteristics enable individuals to participate in the process of value co creation, form unique digital assets, and then complete the whole process of right confirmation, circulation and traceability. In this field, Xi’an Qujiang Datang sleepless city has made positive and beneficial attempts. It has cooperated with the metaverse project Datang Kaiyuan created by Taiyi group to explore the metaverse of the tourism industry based on the historical and cultural background of the Tang Dynasty; On this basis, the “Datang Kaiyuan · little wild goose pagoda” and “Datang Kaiyuan · bell tower” digital collections jointly sold with Xi’an digital light year also provide a feasible path reference for commercial realization.

It is true that “metaverse” is still in the conceptual stage, but metaverse’s perspective has brought positive and beneficial enlightenment to the reconstruction of tourism “people, fields and things”. Metaverse is regarded as a new era in the Post Internet era, and will also promote tourism into a new era.

(author: School of tourism science, Beijing International Studies University)

Author: Wang Jinwei, Yu Deguang

Original title: reconstruction of tourism “people, fields and things” from the perspective of metaverse

Editor: Li Niwei

Reviewed by: Deng Minmin

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