Metaverse as a disruptive technology revolutionising tourism management and marketing

Dimitrios Buhalis, Daniel Leung, Michael Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Metaverse is the next disruptive technology that will impact society in the coming decades, by enabling immersive experiences in both virtual and physical environments. Although still conceptual, Metaverse converges the physical and digital universe, allowing users to seamlessly traverse between them. Digital immersion offers opportunities for people to travel in time, supporting users to experience virtually ancient encounters, space explorations or dangerous natural phenomena, such as volcano eruptions. Users can explore immersive environments for working, learning, transacting, exploring interests and socialising with others. This is already evident in gaming ecosystems, where gamers effectively interact in the metaverse. Although still experimental, Metaverse is expected to revolutionize travel and tourism management and marketing. It empowers destination awareness, positioning and branding, as well as coordination and management, through digital twins. Metaverse provides opportunities to support trip planning, interaction and engagement, effectively transforming consumer behaviour. Visiting and engaging with destinations virtually is expected to motivate real travel, rather than replace it. This paper provides a vision of how Metaverse can revolutionize tourism experiences and transform tourism management and marketing. Drawing on a systematic review of scholarly works, articles from media and industry reports, this study defines and conceptualizes the Metaverse ecosystem for tourism and travel. It explores the foundations of the disruptions that Metaverse brings to tourism destinations and organisations and identifies the building blocks of Metaverse tourism. The study outlines research directions so that the tourism industry can take full advantage of the Metaverse capabilities and opportunities emerging as well as identify challenges for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104724
JournalTourism Management
Volume97
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Immersive experience
  • Information communication technologies
  • Metaverse
  • Virtual experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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