Metaverse , Technology for Good and Tourism Development

As a new thing in the 21st century, the basic value appeal of the Metaverse should be to promote the sustainable development of human beings, society and nature. How to correctly take the first step in the combination of the Metaverse and tourism, and then realize the development from 0 to 1 and then again, is a problem that the tourism industry needs to ponder.

From NVIDIA’s announcement of the simulation and collaboration platform that provides the basis for the Metaverse, to the Japanese social gaming giant GREE’s development of the Metaverse business; from Microsoft’s efforts to create a “corporate Metaverse” to Facebook’s renaming of the Metaverse (Meta) “Metaverse” The term appears more and more frequently in people’s field of vision. The explosion of the Metaverse, on the one hand, carries the mission and responsibility of “science and technology for good”, and on the other hand, it has also produced a flood of concepts that follow the trend.

The changes the Metaverse brings to tourism

As a virtual space parallel to the real world and independent of the real world, the Metaverse is an online virtual world that mirrors the real world. In fact, the Metaverse is not a single rise of a certain technology. Behind the concept of “out of the circle”, there are corresponding technical support and social life factors. On the one hand, the rapid penetration of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G, blockchain, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) has spawned a Metaverse form; on the other hand, due to the epidemic and other reasons, online office, Online conferences have gradually become popular, and various forms of digital tourism such as online live broadcasts, short videos, cloud exhibitions, and cloud tourism have emerged, promoting the digital transformation of social life.

From the perspective of space and time, the Metaverse is a virtual world in space and real in time. The construction of the Metaverse can better enable digital tourism and digital exhibitions. The development of digital twin technology and interactive technology can further help users break through the constraints of time, space and other factors, freely visit scenic spots around the world, and obtain an immersive experience . The “presence” and “immersive experience” emphasized by Metaverse fit the new model pursued by the tourism industry in the digital age. At the same time, the innovation of the virtual world driven by the Metaverse can further promote the symbiotic development of various links in the industrial chain such as tourism, games, communities, education, and commodity trading, and thus bring new increments.

People stay in the virtual space for a longer time, and the proportion of online applications in life is getting higher and higher, breaking the boundary between virtual and reality to a certain extent. But the Metaverse still cannot replace the real universe. The real universe is full of logic, regularity and self-consistency. From Newton’s laws to quantum mechanics, to evolution theory, economics and sociology, the complexity of the real universe is far greater than that of the Metaverse. In order to achieve the ideal state of full industry coverage, ecological openness, self-consistency of the economy, and interoperability of virtual and real, the Metaverse still has a long way to go in terms of technology, law, morality and ethics. The purpose of immersion is to experience, and ultimately to withdraw, not to indulge. If the purpose of the Metaverse is just to immerse in it or participate wholeheartedly for a short period of time, it may mean that humans are unable to extricate themselves in the information cocoon created by artificial intelligence and lose the ability to make independent decisions, which is worthy of vigilance. We should view the “Metaverse” craze rationally, be wary of nonsensical follow-up “hot spots” and other phenomena, and strengthen research on the combination of the Metaverse and tourism, especially focusing on making travel a higher-dimensional and more valuable social network through Metaverse technology way .

In November 2021, Zhangjiajie became the first scenic spot in the country to set up a Metaverse research center; Xi’an Datang Evernight City Scenic Spot announced that it is building the world’s first Metaverse project based on the historical and cultural background of the Tang Dynasty – “Datang” Kaiyuan , through digital technology, the traditional Chinese architecture can be vividly restored and presented in the digital space, and tourists can visit and entertain in the “Datang Never Sleeps City” no matter where they are; Suzhou Hanshan Art Museum held an art called “Clone: ​​My Universe” This is also the first museum-level digital art exploration exhibition under the ecology of the Metaverse in China; Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park also launched the concept of the Metaverse in the festival activities……Through the online and offline linkage, the Metaverse can Many new tourism consumption scenarios have been spawned, but for now, the technological content of tourism equipment is still relatively low, and it does not have an advantage in the field of technology applications. In addition to the constraints of technology, if Metaverse wants to empower the development of the tourism industry on a large scale, it also depends on a mature business model and the power of the entire industrial ecology.

Reflections on the Metaverse and the Future Development of Tourism

(1) The basic value demands of the Metaverse

Humanity has always been in a world constructed by technology. At present, data is replacing information as the “infrastructure” of the new technological world. As a tool for recording human behavior, whether data can be monitored all the time and everywhere in the construction of the Metaverse remains to be further clarified. In fact, in philosophical discussions, the “virtual world” is always the object of vigilance and prevention. When the sense of immersion is strong enough, it is possible for human beings to turn away from reality and lose their attention and fun in the real world, thus impacting the rules of communication and operation in real society .

If the Metaverse is simply regarded as a wealth outlet for “getting rich overnight”, and taking the opportunity to make money by selling anxiety, it will be impossible to achieve technological breakthroughs and make the world a better place. While maintaining curiosity and exploration of new things, it is necessary to retain a prudence and rationality.Not everything can be a Metaverse. Instead of trying to get a piece of the “flow soup” from the concept of the Metaverse, it is better to reject false propositions, follow the laws of technological development, and lay a solid foundation.

To be clear, the Metaverse is not an escape from the real world, but a combination of online and offline. No matter what technical path the Metaverse takes, it all takes place on nature and human beings. The main body of the Metaverse is humans, not a virtual world created by simply using VR. The basic value appeal of the Metaverse should be to promote the sustainable development of human beings, society and nature.

(2) The key task of the tourism industry is to enhance the tourism experience

As a simulation and preview of the real universe, the Metaverse can be used to promote the exploration of the real world, and tourism as a way of exploring the real world in the distance is irreplaceable. With the application of 5G, artificial intelligence, AR, VR and other technologies, the tourism scene is no longer single, and the digital transformation of the tourism industry has become the general trend. Self-substitution and immersive, delay-free social experience are becoming new consumption choices for tourists. The “presence” feature of the Metaverse can be better applied in the development of tourism in the digital age. On the one hand, Metaverse and virtual reality technology can be used to promote and market tourist destinations, enhance the interactivity, immersion and fun of tourism, thereby optimizing the marketing effect of tourist destinations; on the other hand, through Metaverse technology, tourism enterprises can It can allow consumers to preview the experience more realistically and stimulate their travel needs and desires. For example, Matterport enables users to experience the five major relics of Egypt through VR technology; Disney makes full use of Metaverse technology to closely connect reality and virtual world, cross borders, and create rich IP stories; domestic tourism has successively launched Blind Box, Markets such as script killing have set off a consumption boom, and major tourist attractions have also begun immersive experience upgrade attempts in the field of live performances. These can be used as a blueprint for future tourism upgrades in the Metaverse strategy. The tourism industry should increase user stickiness by adding more interesting and interactive travel methods, prolong the life cycle of tourism products, and turn the concept and technology of the Metaverse into a source of inspiration for users to explore the real universe, rather than let the virtual world. experience as a substitute for real-world travel .

(3) The inevitable choice of technological development is to make science and technology better

The development of technology may bring great benefits to human society, but improper use may also hinder the progress of human society and even cause damage. As a new form of various emerging technologies, the Metaverse will inevitably cause negative effects if it develops blindly. racial discrimination, the use of blockchain technology to escape legal constraints, and lead to chaos in the real world financial order. We should not reject technological progress, but we must also see that there is still no conclusion on whether people can truly control future technology, or whether super intelligence can coexist with human beings. How to prevent technology from doing evil is what human beings face in the process of promoting technological progress. eternal subject.

From Baidu’s “AI tracing” to Ali’s “Reunion” system, from Facebook’s “Suicide Prevention Intervention Analysis” to Kuaishou’s “Accessibility Adaptation”, from “WeChat Donation” to Meituan’s “Qingshan Project” , From Tencent’s “health commitment” to Douyin’s “anti-addiction” system, in recent years, many companies have practiced the mission of “science and technology for good”, constantly proving that the pursuit of economic interests and the fulfillment of social responsibilities are not contradictory.

Science and technology for good should be regarded as the value orientation of scientific and technological innovation, and should also be regarded as the inevitable choice of scientific and technological development . For the Metaverse, it is necessary to think deeply from the dimensions of instrumental rationality, value rationality and humanistic rationality, that is, instrumental rationality requires the comparison and correction of humanistic value rationality. A holistic view of development that balances science and humanities.

As a new space after the fusion of digital space and real physical space, the Metaverse will definitely change people’s way of life in the future. The rise of digital tools such as video conferencing and online office has gradually reduced the demand for business travel. With the development of Metaverse technology in the context of technological advancement, we do not need to open the conference software and enter the conference number to confirm repeatedly before we can start communication , but can break the current “tool” thinking, “truly” go to the colleague, and interact with him. The development of Metaverse technology will also make urban traffic systems more intelligent and automated. Using Metaverse scenes, people can travel freely between the virtual world and the real world. For entertainment and social interaction, Metaverse technology can provide users with a wider degree of freedom and activity. The cultural entertainment industry, including games and movies, will change from two-dimensional to three-dimensional, plane to three-dimensional, and a new entertainment industry will evolve. models and formats. In addition, science and technology help the development of Metaverse technology for good and also open up new imagination space for the digital protection of cultural heritage . The first public welfare NFT (Non-Fungible Token) released by Tencent and Dunhuang Research Institute, with the help of blockchain technology, has transformed the sharing of traditional cultural content into officially recorded, collectible and traceable digital assets. It has the functions of cultural dissemination and protection. At the same time, because NFT artworks have the characteristics of encryption, preservation, confirmation, non-tampering, permanent preservation, etc., it overcomes many drawbacks in the circulation of traditional artworks, and will become the development of the cultural tourism industry. New Direction. The experience of the Internet has proved that technology does not evolve ethics, so pre-positioning “technology for good” in the Metaverse can truly benefit the national economy and people’s livelihood.

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