My friend Pierre Bellerose was Vice-President of Tourisme Montréal for several years before becoming a consultant in business development, tourism and Metavers for the past year. He was also co-founder of the MT Lab incubator, which he has chaired for 5 years. We have to believe that we enjoyed the experience, since we are doing it again to collaborate on the writing of an article.
Early adopter – or early adopter – technologies, Pierre does not however get carried away for each novelty. This time, he is more than intrigued and plunges headfirst into the nascent universe of the Metaverse (or Metaverse). After an effective contextualization by Guillaume Cromer, the angle of sustainable tourism by Gallic Guyot and a surge of skepticism by Ludovic Dublanchet, here is the enthusiasm of Pierre Bellerose. Will you (me) convince?
The favorable circumstances
Pierre recalls the unsuccessful Second Life of 2006, but so many things have changed since then, starting with 5G. Today’s standards provide the speed and power necessary to bring about a new virtual world.
He indicates that several phenomena are converging towards the rise of the Metavers, in particular:
- The development of video games based on a virtual world (Mindcraft, Fortnite, etc.);
- advances in artificial intelligence;
- The arrival and multiplication of immersive universes
- Improving equipment (helmets, gloves, new versions of smart phones and other connected objects);
- Human relations at a distance democratized by the pandemic;
- The popularity and trivialization of cryptocurrencies.
In short, the technological advances are phenomenal and the audience reached is growing. Exactly, this is where Pierre sees the principle of Moore’s law, which in some cases counts on the acceleration of technological advances. It’s going faster and faster and the confluence of these growing phenomena could well cause the Metaverse to quickly take an unsuspected place and become the new generation of the Internet (Web 3.0), integrating more real life and virtual life. . Not to mention that large companies are investing prodigious sums in the phenomenon.
The statistics, data, and forecasts surrounding the Metaverse are dizzying and suggest that it is an inescapable movement.
In addition to mercantile activities, it is a universe of creation, design, events and meetings reaching a clientele mainly aged between 15 and 35 years old – for the moment. In this article from Phocus WireWeb3 and Metavers consultant Steve Bambury argues that no medium has as much emotional power as virtual reality, which is good news for tourism businesses.
In the background: a real estate boom
Pierre underlines the economic potential and the real estate activity of the Metavers. Indeed, before discussing possible applications in tourism, it should be remembered that everything is woven against a background of NFT, new cryptocurrencies and “real estate” speculation, in particular. And it spends galore! An analyst from Bloomberg estimates that it will be an 800 billion market by 2024. There are several currencies, often related to video games like Roblox who is a major player and his currency Robux. Already there, it is a world in itself which would require another article.
The purchase of “land”, spaces to build a place representing its brand, is done under speculation and those that are busy obviously have more value. In January 2022, Metavers land sales were worth 85 million of dollars. A virtual lot next to Snoop Dogg World sold for around $500,000. The essential site to have access to this virtual real estate world is Decentraland.
Pierre Bellerose has been monitoring Metaverse advances for a while, here are some of his observations.
Music events/festivals is one of the sectors most challenged by the Metavers and reaches a large clientele. Big gigs, DJ and more intimate shows; the avatars meet in the lobby and disperse to various rooms to see performances and perhaps “dance”! Access to musical performances is simple through applications such as Horizon Venues. Ibiza is getting ready, and in Quebec, the alternative broadcasting festival Le Phoque OFF would recently take place in the Métavers. Watch the Radio-Canada report.
Cities and sites position themselves:
- Seoul create a whole ecosystemincluding a tourist route that will reproduce the main sites to visit the city;
- Las Vegas will not fail to be present. The construction of a surreal world, centered on gambling, partying, spectacle and money… can’t you see the beautiful metaphor with the creation of the city in the 1930s?
- The baseball team of Atlanta Braves recreated his stadium:
Pierre believes there is great potential for the business tourism in the Metaverse. With everyone already used to video conferencing due to the pandemic, the experience will be much more interactive in the context of avatars meeting in places only limited to our imaginations. With tools and services for companies to meet and promote their products in the Metaverse, platforms like Rendezverse could transform the way the hotel industry and convention centers operate.
For the moment, it is possible to make meetings of 200 participants and less entirely in Metavers. But according to Pierre and several specialists, we could see hybrid modes develop as technology advances. Wouldn’t offering a business meeting space in the colors of the destination in the Metaverse be a great way to position ourselves as pioneers and innovative players in this market?
Other sectors are developing:
- In the wave of event tourism, gatherings e-sports will obviously be popular;
- fashion, design and the surrounding events are also a sector to watch; the famous fashion week had its dematerialized version at the end of March. In addition, fashion designers can already offer accessories to video game and Metaverse users. For example, Gucci, Nike, Vans, and Ralph Lauren have already created their own Roblox experiences, some of which allow digital clothing and accessories to be purchased.
- Several casinosnot lacking in resources, plan their attendance;
- Finally, theVisual art is already present in virtual galleries where one can buy the unique works.
From the tourist point of view, the strategies in these beginnings of the Metaverse focus on brand positioning and public relations to participate in the “buzz”. But tomorrow, tourism businesses will have a virtual site to meet and chat with customers and we could also see the creation of rich immersive experiences. Still need to buy a privileged location, and it may be the right time!
Explore, or at least get ready!
Pierre Bellerose returns from the SXSW (South by Southwest) festival. Some 60,000 people attended. The place of the Metavers was such that the event could well mark a milestone in the young history of the virtual world. That said, Pierre points out that opinions are divided, not everyone sees the same potential. Also, let us specify how young and constantly evolving the phenomenon is. According to Horizon, there were about 300,000 monthly Metaverse users last February, while they were more like 30,000 in December. Mark Zuckerberg’s – perhaps ambitious – goal is to reach one billion by 2030.
Pierre therefore recommends giving serious thought to the potential of the Metavers for your destination or tourism business. To get started, start by better understanding the phenomenon, explore this new world and then surround yourself with a multidisciplinary team (strategists, creatives, video games, artificial intelligence, etc.) and test everything with a project. -pilot!
Personally, I wonder about the meaning of all this. I would like to see today’s leaders pay as much attention to the fragility of our environment as to this new encoded horizon. That said, I also believe that one does not prevent the other, and faced with the inevitable, I prefer to follow the dance rather than ignore it. So yes, Pierre Bellerose and his words have indeed piqued my curiosity and ideas are born…
To our French friends, Pierre invites you to Paris in July 2022 for the first major Metaverse Summit. He will be there!
We wish to say thanks to the author of this short article for this amazing content
The one who believed in Metavers – interview with Pierre Bellerose – Etourisme.info
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