Pioneering Sustainable Travel Solutions in Developing Countries, Part 2

Exploring innovative business models in the metaverse tourism ecosystem by developing countries is crucial as it represents a strategy for increasing income.

Exploring innovative business models in the metaverse tourism ecosystem by developing countries is crucial as it represents a strategy for increasing income and economic growth without harming the environment. With the metaverse, these countries can digitally promote their destinations and cultures, reducing physical impacts like pollution and habitat destruction. Additionally, the metaverse offers more inclusive access for various societal groups, including those with limited mobility. This approach aligns with sustainable development goals, encouraging responsible and sustainable economic growth through technology utilization.

Here are some innovative approaches that could serve as business model ideas for Metaverse Tourism in developing countries:

Virtual Tours

Offering immersive virtual destination experiences where users can explore replicas of popular tourist spots. For instance, luxury hotels like Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai have developed 360-degree VR videos allowing visitors to explore hotel facilities in detail before booking. Another example is UK travel agency Thomas Cook, which uses VR experiences to provide previews of travel destinations, including helicopter tours over Manhattan. Such initiatives have led to a 190% increase in holiday bookings to New York after customers tried the VR experience.

Virtual Cultural Exhibitions

Utilizing virtual and augmented reality to introduce cultural and historical heritage to a global audience. These exhibitions are essential as they enable global access to cultural and historical heritage, transcending geographical limitations. This technology provides a more immersive and educational experience, enriching learning about culture and history. Moreover, it aids in the digital preservation of endangered heritage and effectively promotes the uniqueness of a country’s or community’s culture. Virtual exhibitions also support local economic development through new revenue sources like tickets or donations, contributing to cultural preservation and strengthening the local economy.

Virtual Events and Concerts

Creating a digital marketplace for local craftsmen to showcase their products and traditional crafts. This digital marketplace is essential as it provides a platform for them to reach the global market, increasing sales opportunities for traditional products and crafts. It is crucial for consumers as it offers access to unique and authentic products that may not be available in their local markets. From an economic standpoint, this helps revive traditional skills and supports the local economy. The social impact includes preserving cultural heritage and traditions represented in these crafts, as well as providing sustainable income to artisan communities.

Virtual Cultural Festivals

Hosting virtual events and festivals that allow the celebration of culture without leaving a physical footprint. For instance, several major music festivals have transitioned to a virtual format, enabling audiences from around the world to attend without the need for physical travel. The impacts include reduced carbon emissions and environmental effects of travel and physical crowds. It also opens up opportunities for a broader audience to experience the culture, increasing global awareness and appreciation of that culture. This approach supports environmental preservation while expanding cultural reach and impact.

Virtual Training and Workshops

Lastly, offering education on ecotourism and conservation through virtual tours of natural reserves and conservation projects has significant effects. Firstly, virtual tours raise awareness about the importance of nature and endangered species. Secondly, they can raise funds for conservation projects through donations or virtual entry fees. Thirdly, these tours provide access to remote or fragile locations without the risk of damaging natural habitats. Thus, this approach supports conservation efforts while providing valuable environmental education to the broader public.

These business models not only generate new income sources for developing countries but also protect and promote their cultural and natural heritage. The implementation of these technologies aligns with the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) concept, supporting environmentally, socially, and ethically responsible tourism practices. From virtual tours to online cultural festivals, these initiatives open up opportunities for more sustainable and diverse cultural experiences while contributing to environmental conservation. Therefore, metaverse tourism offers a path towards a more sustainable and responsible future for tourism in developing countries.

Tuhu Nugraha
Tuhu Nugraha
Digital Business & Metaverse Expert Principal of Indonesia Applied Economy & Regulatory Network (IADERN)