As borders open following prolonged travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the metaverse is designed to help travelers decide on destinations they want to experience in person. Booking.com, an accommodation reservations and online travel agency, conducted a survey on the metaverse.
In a survey of 24,179 people from 32 countries, Booking.com explored travelers’ strong interest in exploring destinations virtually when deciding on itineraries. The research revealed that the vast majority of respondents wanted to travel in the metaverse. While this rate was 54 percent in the Z generation, it was 43 percent in the Y generation.
Almost half of respondents (43 percent) confirmed their approach to using virtual reality to inspire their choices. Among these participants, approximately 4,574 people believe in traveling only after experiencing new places virtually.
Moreover, 35 percent of the participants noted that they could spend days in the metaverse in order to better understand the environment offered in popular destinations. According to Booking.com, assistive technologies such as haptic feedback will help improve this experience by allowing users to experience sandy beaches and tropical sun without stepping outside.
However, 60 percent of respondents believe that the experiences offered by Metaverse and virtual technologies are lacking in face-to-face and physical experiences. The most popular travel destinations selected in 2023 were São Paulo (Brazil), Pondicherry (India), Hobart (Australia) and Bolzano (Italy).
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Tech giant Microsoft, on the other hand, faced a major hurdle in its plan to step into the Metaverse business after the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tried to block the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
According to Microsoft CEO and president Satya Nadella, the $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard was expected to play an important role in the development of metaverse platforms. However, the FTC noted Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices in which it limited the distribution of console games after acquiring rival game companies.