Can the “First Island of the Metaverse” be “saved” by the cooling down of the Metaverse and the sluggish tourism industry?

The Metaverse concept that has been on fire for more than a year has quietly “cooled down”.

In March last year, the successful listing of Roblox led to the spread of the concept of the Metaverse. The popularity of “Metaverse” in Google Trends increased by 1150% in 5 days, and this popularity reached its peak when Facebook changed its name to Meta. However, this year, especially since the second quarter, with the deepening of the understanding of the Metaverse, the players who entered the game have gradually realized that the technical threshold of the industry is relatively high, and they have returned to rationality one after another. has declined.

Like Metaverse, there is also the cultural tourism industry. According to the statistics of the domestic tourism sample survey, in the first half of 2022, the total number of domestic tourists was 1.455 billion, down 22.2% from the previous year.Among them, the number of domestic tourists from urban residents was 1.091 billion, down by 16.6%; the number of domestic tourists from rural residents was 364 million, down by 35.4%.

Under such a background, what kind of “spark” will the combination of the Metaverse and the cultural tourism industry create? Can “Metaverse + Travel” have the effect of “king bomb”?

Price cuts cannot save China’s cultural tourism industry

In fact, since the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, the cultural tourism industry has begun to go downhill.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, in the first half of the year, the per capita disposable income of national residents was 18,463 yuan, a nominal increase of 4.7% over the same period of the previous year. Although the income of residents has increased, and the expenditure on education, culture and entertainment has also shown an increasing trend, which has laid a good foundation for the development of China’s cultural tourism industry, the outbreak of the epidemic in many places in the country in the first half of the year has disrupted the rhythm of the recovery of the tourism market. Core data such as revenue plummeted.

Can the "First Island of the Metaverse" be "saved" by the cooling down of the Metaverse and the sluggish tourism industry?

(Source: Sohu Focus)
In order to accelerate the recovery of the cultural tourism industry, the following self-help solutions are currently emerging in the industry:

For example, by reducing ticket prices, issuing cultural tourism consumption coupons, and extending the opening hours of scenic spots to stimulate the public’s travel needs; another example, launching various new games with rich content and different themes, including tourism festivals and art weeks, trying to satisfy tourists. Multi-level tourism experience needs.

In addition, in the recent period, the domestic epidemic situation has improved, and the itinerary card has been “picked up”. Many places across the country have announced the resumption of inter-provincial tourism. The “Circuit Breaker” Mechanism Unified Management Notice was released, and a series of relief measures were introduced to release policy dividends.

This set of “combination punches” can indeed help my country’s cultural and tourism industry to break through to a certain extent, but from a long-term perspective, this is only temporary.

On the one hand, under the environment of repeated epidemics, traditional tourism forms with strong contact, aggregation and mobility still have certain risks; Some disadvantages of the cultural tourism industry, such as overall planning, uneven publicity of scenic spots and reception, have not been completely eliminated.

Whether China’s cultural tourism industry can break through in the short term depends on the epidemic, and whether it can improve in the long run depends on the transformation. Therefore, if you want to release the greater potential of the cultural tourism industry, it is definitely not enough to rely on price cuts and discounts.

“The First Island of the Metaverse”, how far is it from us?

The digital transformation of the cultural and tourism industry is the general trend

On July 22, the Xiamen Municipal People’s Government and China Mobile Migu Company formally signed a strategic cooperation agreement on the construction of Metaverse. China Mobile Migu will cooperate with Fujian Mobile to empower Xiamen with “high-quality, high-value appearance” with digital intelligence. , modernization and internationalization” city construction goals, and jointly build Xiamen’s “Metaverse Ecological Model City” and a new digital development system.

The “first shot” of the project is to “Metaverse” Gulangyu Island to create “the first island of the Metaverse”.

It is not the first time to integrate Metaverse technology into the cultural tourism industry. The American company Matterport enables users to experience the five relics of Egypt through VR technology; the South Korean theme park Lotte World has launched a virtual replica of the park in the Zepeto Metaverse of the technology giant Naver, which restores the outdoor magic island part of Lotte World. Zepeto App enters the Lotte World Map.

Can the "First Island of the Metaverse" be "saved" by the cooling down of the Metaverse and the sluggish tourism industry?

In China, during the National Day last year, Xi’an Qujiang Datang Evernight City created a Metaverse project “Datang Kaiyuan”, which reproduced traditional Chinese architecture through digital technology; Zhangjiajie also announced in November last year that it would become the first in the country to establish a Metaverse The scenic spot of the research center.

It has to be said that immersive tourism, as the “new direction” of the development of the cultural tourism industry at this stage, seems to coincide with the Metaverse with “immersion” as its main selling point, but after substituting it into the “Gulangyu Metaverse” project, “Intelligent Relativity” found that there are some technical difficulties:

The first is in terms of computing power. According to the data of “Xiamen Daily”, as of July 19, Gulangyu has welcomed 562,000 citizens and tourists, with an average daily reception of about 18,000.

Substituting into the Metaverse scene requires thousands of people and 10,000 people to be online at the same time, or even on the same screen, and to be able to quickly load the scene to achieve lag-free, lag-free experience interaction, which has extremely stringent requirements on computing power. After all, no one wants to see the scenery, and it takes ten minutes to load the screen, which is longer than the time it takes to queue up to buy tickets at the scenic spot; and I don’t want to be stuck when switching scenes and may be delayed. Watch the promotional video of the scenic spot.

The second is in technologies such as 5G+XR and cloud rendering. After all , the advantages of Metaverse + Cultural Tourism lie in the creation of scene sense and the design of interactive activities, which means that tourists can be immersed even if they stay at home. It also provides a participatory and interactive travel experience.

However, Lin Huanjie, president of the China Theme Park Research Institute, once said that at this stage, most 5G+XR can only open up separate spaces and projects to become a small-scale content, and it is difficult to become the core attraction of scenic spots or theme parks. In order to provide tourists with an immersive gaming experience, it can also effectively reduce the user experience threshold, and the road is long.

The third is in terms of content, if only the restoration of the environment is too monotonous, and only with a multi-faceted, full-scale, immersive experience in business, history, music, sports, etc., can it be regarded as a high-quality Metaverse space.

Of course, in response to these technical difficulties, China Mobile Migu, as the strategic partner and chain leader of Xiamen Metaverse, has already made preparations. In terms of underlying capabilities, China Mobile has built the world’s largest 5G network with more than 700,000 5G base stations; in the past three years, it has invested 100 billion yuan to deploy N+31+X resource pools and data center construction. At the same time, China Mobile Migu, guided by the MIGU roadmap, has taken the lead in the technical standards and patents in the field of Metaverse. Up to now, it has established 15 international and domestic standards, with more than 100 case standards in preparation, and successfully applied for patents. Over 1500.

When creating the “Night of Light Collection”, China Mobile’s 5G cloud game provides users with higher-quality audio-visual products through technical means such as 3D modeling and real-time rendering, based on cloud-based high-performance GPU computing servers and intelligent dynamic coding technology. experience; and relying on the advantages of the ITU-T T.621 standard and China Mobile’s 5G + “connection + computing power + capability” advantages, China Mobile Migu will use 5G + XR technology to empower cultural blogs, cultural tourism, party building, entertainment performances, sports events and other scenarios , such as the museum’s projects in mobile, 5G+AR party history museum, smart business hall and other projects are China Mobile Migu’s experience accumulation in different vertical fields.

To put it simply, to realize the Metaverse in the true sense, the construction of the global Internet, the substantial improvement of the hardware level, the mature application of 5G and the maturity of related technologies are all indispensable, but as far as current technology is concerned, the Metaverse is socially active The role of empowerment in cultural tourism projects is still relatively obvious.

Although the “First Island of the Metaverse” has not yet arrived, it is not far.

The cultural tourism industry is moving towards the Metaverse, is it a gimmick or a good medicine?

“The concept of the Metaverse is very grand, but it is very unclear what kind of experience it can bring.”

In the past, some people were skeptical about the Metaverse, believing that its uncertainty was too strong, but with the acceleration of a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation, mobile communication technology is driven to iteratively upgrade from 5G to 6G, immersive Cloud XR, holographic communication, sensory interconnection and other technologies have the possibility of large-scale application after the improvement of 6G network capabilities. It seems that it is no longer an extravagant hope to reproduce the Metaverse space in “Ready Player One”.

Whether the Metaverse can empower cultural tourism to achieve large-scale launch and application requires a mature business model, but once the “Gulangyu Metaverse” is implemented to bring economic value, it will still be a big deal for the cultural and tourism industries. opportunity:

First of all, starting from “the first island of the Metaverse”, if the road of “Metaverse + Cultural Tourism” can be run through, it will not only allow more people to appreciate the local real scenes and local history and culture without leaving home, but also amplify the culture Value, digitally upgrade the local cultural and tourism scene and empower the industrial scene, and can also use this as a starting point to export Chinese excellent culture to the world.

Secondly, it can also create an excellent environment, so that more companies that develop the Metaverse have the conditions to accelerate the improvement, progress and iteration of the Metaverse technology.

Can the "First Island of the Metaverse" be "saved" by the cooling down of the Metaverse and the sluggish tourism industry?

To completely move the real world into the virtual world like “Ready Player One” does not only test the AI ​​algorithm ability, but also involves multiple technical difficulties including avatar creation, virtual scene creation, motion capture, and cloud rendering.
Therefore, projects like “Gulangyu Metaverse” can be regarded as a “pressure space”. In such a space, China Mobile Migu and even more companies that are deeply involved in “Metaverse + Cultural Tourism” will be able to practice. In the future, under the trend of higher and higher technical thresholds, it will be able to feed back domestic digital cultural tourism for a long time, and convert “pressure” into “ability”. 

Finally, Zhu Keli, the founding director of the National Research Institute of New Economics, pointed out in an interview: “In recent years, the repeated outbreak of domestic epidemics has inhibited the flow of people out, and my country’s tourism industry has been hit a lot. In this ‘protracted war’, the main players of the tourism market are generally dragged down by the epidemic, the market vitality has declined, and the market is in a stable and sluggish trend. The tourism business confidence index fell to last year in the first quarter of this year. The lowest point for the same period.”

Under such a background, to create the “first island of the Metaverse”, on the one hand, it can revitalize the “big chess game” of cultural tourism with a new way of playing; on the other hand, such a project also provides a “sample” for the Chinese cultural tourism industry “, which not only meets the needs of tourists for multi-level tourism experience, but also brings digital cultural tourism closer to the mainstream form.

All in all, there may still be some uncertainties in the future, but starting from “Gulangyu Metaverse”, with the application of Metaverse technology in all aspects of “food, lodging, travel, shopping and entertainment” in the cultural tourism industry, China’s cultural tourism industry will continue to grow. There is still huge room for imagination in the future.

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