The Metaverse holds the potential to create the most immersive marketing experiences ever seen in the tourism industry, with this virtual world taking the ‘try before you buy’ concept to a whole new level.

Mainstream use of the Metaverse in travel and tourism is still some time away. There is a distinct possibility that it may never get to that point, with this digital environment potentially being confined to the gaming landscape if consumers fail to adapt to this new way of living.

However, we can look at the possibilities the Metaverse could provide for tourism marketing if it was to take off.

The ultimate ‘try before you buy’ experience

Many prospective travellers would love to see a destination or hotel room for real before they travel there and this is what the Metaverse could provide. The vivid recreation of a real-world environment through the Metaverse could allow tourism companies to build trust with potential customers, which in turn will sway purchasing decisions. 57%* of global consumers stated that they are ‘always’ or ‘often’ influenced by how trustworthy/risk-free a product or service feels. The Metaverse allows risk to be reduced for travellers as they would get to experience the product or service in potentially the most vivid way possible before physically travelling there.

Additionally, using the Metaverse to select aspects of a holiday could be much more enjoyable and informational. Travellers would be transported to a virtual and interactive world that could increase the chance of triggering an emotional response that leads to a booking. 53%* of global respondents stated that they are ‘often’ or ‘always’ influenced by how enjoyable and unique a product or service is, with the Metaverse certainly holding the potential to create highly unique ‘pre-trip’ experiences.

Gen Z may be receptive to this form of marketing

43%* of global Gen Z respondents stated that they are either ‘somewhat’ or ‘always’ influenced by how smart/digitally advanced a service or product is, which means they are most likely to react positively to the Metaverse and marketing strategies in this digital world. This comes as little surprise as this generation compromises digital natives who tend to have no memory of a time before smartphones. The mainstream adoption of the Metaverse rests with this cohort and thus the adoption of the Metaverse for marketing purposes by tourism companies.

By potentially offering the ultimate ‘try before you buy’ experience to the likes of Gen Z, the Metaverse could be the future of tourism marketing. However, this use case will not be put in place for some time yet, or maybe not at all if this digital world fails to reach the mainstream.

* GlobalData’s Q1 2021 consumer survey