- The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development stated that Africa had lost at least $170 billion in tourism revenue as of 2021.
- Cuenca, Hotel Riu Plaza Espana and the Offring of the Virgin of Pilar are some of the few tourist sites diving into the Metaverse.
- The tourism industry experienced a 51% growth rate in early 2022 compared to 2021.
Throughout the decades, web3 applications in Africa have significantly improved, shedding a positive light on its economy. Blockchain and crypto have thrived within its ecosystem, and the demand for more systems is steadily growing. Furthermore, one web3 application has recently rocked several industries’ core: the Metaverse. The applications of the Metaverse have redefined various regions and concepts, from education and medicine to travel and art. Its sheer flexibility and revolutionary ideas have led to the development of virtual tourism. Most might not understand it initially, but the Metaverse has redefined Africa’s tourism.
Thus bringing the beauty of Africa closer to the world. This article will highlight the intricate nature of virtual tourism and how its potential can revive an industry that significantly suffered from the Covid pandemic.
The downfall and rising of Africa’s tourism
Despite the ironic turn of events the Covid 19 pandemic presented for the Web3 community, the traditional system significantly suffered from the widespread panic it has caused. Countries from all over the world had to lock their doors to any outside contact. Most industries that could not shift into more digitalized systems had to lay off their work to survive. Africa suffered significantly since its economy kept supplying the world with various products.
One of these industries that suffered the most from the two-year lockdown was its tourism and travel sector. Due to the rapid spread of the Covid variant Africa was forced to shut down most of its travel organizations locally and internationally. This presented a significant problem for the tourism industry. According to the African Union, Africa has nearly $55 billion in travel and tourism revenue. In addition, Africa lost two million jobs within the first three months of the pandemic.Many organizations within Africa’s tourism industry had to take drastic measures as the pandemic progressed and the situation worsened. After two years of struggling between the waves of the pandemic, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development stated that Africa had lost at least $170 billion in tourism revenue by the end of 2021.
This led to significant degradation in economic growth for countries such as Morocco and Tunisia. Zimbabwe and Cote d’Ivoire. The bitter truth is that most tourism organizations persevere and survive without financial relief from their respective governments. The covid pandemic showed how much Africa relies on foreign travel and how old their system is still.
Glimmer of Hope
Fortunately, Africa’s tourism sector began steadily picking up as the pandemic died. The industry experienced a 51% growth rate in early 2022 compared to 2021. This shed some hope for the industry, although these numbers are still significantly low compared to its pre-pandemic period.
As a result, organizations needed to change to revitalize one of Africa’s highest-paying economic activities. According to the UNWTO and WHO, Africa’s tourism industry requires a drastic change to recover from its heavy losses in 2019-2020. One of its initial plans was to focus on its travel industry by providing various systems that would smoothen the resume of its act. Fortunately, where most people see tragedy, some see the light of opportunity.
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It is a known fact that the pandemic period was the turning point of web3 applications in Africa. The concept of crypto and digital assets redefined the financial systems of Africa, and developers finally achieved digital ownership through NFT. Thus when the idea of Virtual tourism finally dawned on the masses, many people did not quite understand its concepts. The Metaverse redefined Africa’s tourism industry once its practicability proved its worth. The effects of Web3 on Africa’s economy were about to take a 360 turn due to this new invention.
Understanding the concept of Virtual tourism
When many individuals hear about the Metaverse, their mind instantly turns to games or simulations, but in the recent decade, this web3 application has shaken the core of various industries. The Metaverse and the term virtual go hand in hand, leading to the development of virtual reality. Despite being one of the more recent and less adopted web3 applications in Africa, its concept and flexibility have opened up Africa to a new world of opportunity.
Virtual tourism merges the various applications of the Metaverse with tourism industries. It is the development of virtual environments that simulate the very significant features more traveller systems earn for.
Imagine heading to South Africa to visit historical sights or Egypt to visit its pyramids but lacking the necessary means. One out of four individuals rarely gets to travel the world, let alone to Africa. Thus, the tourism industry can come to its customers through virtual reality.
The Metaverse uses the concept of VR and AR to immerse its users in an alternate environment where the imagination develops its limit. It relies on Headsets, motion-sensing controllers and microphones to allow users to interact with virtual objects and other users. In the past four years, the virtual world concept has significantly aided the growth of web3 applications in Africa.
Since the Covid pandemic, Africa’s tourism industry has sought additional ways to prove its reachability to its users. Currently, various international tourism companies have started exploring virtual tourism through the help of organizations such as Metaverse. It is important to remember that Metaverse in Africa t aims to magnify social connections among consumers, other consumers and suppliers from different industries. ‘
Web2 has successfully connected the world through video conferences, phone calls, and text messages from any part of the world but has also caused a significant social disconnect. The Metaverse in Africa seeks to improve these aspects by providing some form of social connection in the comfort of your home.
Its primary objective coincides with one of the social benefits Africa;’s tourism sector seeks. Most customs within Africa’s tourism industry comprise family, couples and friends, creating a social connection while providing the necessary economic value to Africa. The social goals of the Metaverse and Africa’s tourism industry coincide and thus are compatible.
How the metaverse benefits create virtual tourism.
The Metaverse can redefine Africa’s turms industry by providing various previously unaware capabilities. One of the few effects of Web3 on Africa’s economy is its ability to provide an opportunity many think impossible. Thus, virtual tourism can make Metaverse in Africa a new dimension if applied correctly. Below are a few ways virtual tourism can solve the issue plaguing Africa’s tourism sector.
Marketing opportunities in Africa’s tourism industry
Africa is known for its plethora of breathtaking views and culture. One of the significant benefits of the Metaverse in Africa’s tourism sector is its ability to introduce new and improved marketing strategies. Virtual tourism can provide a somewhat “preview” of the designation. Metaverse is constantly growing, and new technology has improved user experience.
In addition, the number of users has also increased. Even Africa has its Virtual Reality environment known as Africarare. Customers can use virtual tourism to compare sites and locations and view their activities. Tourism and hospitality professionals can explore other digital marketing opportunities within the Metaverse. In addition, virtual tourism can use NFT as part of its marketing strategies.
The NFT and Metaverse industry in Africa is steadily growing as artists and collectors all over have seen the value of these two technologies. Virtual tourism capitalizes on this fact and can advertise its various capabilities to customers from all over. This aids travellers and planners in having some understanding as to where they are going and what they expect out of their travels.
Virtual tourism directly improves hospitality.
The Metaverse in Africa is still in its early stages, but its applications have already proven efficient. Virtual tourism offers hotel owners and professionals sophisticated and better management stems. The use of blockchain technology in the Metaverse allows hotels to garner the power of decentralization and immutability.
This enables users to book hotels and quickly experience what each hotel offers. In addition, it enhances the daily operating procedures alongside revenue collection and management techniques for hotels. It also provides security for customers and hotel owners, ensuring each transaction is made seamlessly without fearing fraud or theft.
The Metaverse is an ever-evolving technology. The user’s imagination and equipment only limit Virtual reality’s capabilities. The Covid Pandemic halted the world’s progress. As a result, most industries switched to their virtual environments. Virtual tourism employs a similar philosophy and caters to those customers who cannot travel to various parts of Africa.
Virtual reality’s interactive and immersive nature has allowed individuals to experience real-life scenarios similar to the real world. In addition, AR allows the real and virtual worlds to co-exist, and this can bring the scenes from Africa’s tourism industry directly to the user.
By producing real-world landscapes and providing travellers with an extensive experience, they can enjoy the beauty of African scenes from their homes. The direct application of Virtual Torusim can also be used as a therapeutic measure to clear the tensions of depression and the sense of stagnation. Various medical facilities have collaborated with virtual tourism to use during mental procedures and medications.
Virtual tourism aids the travel industry.
The Metaverse in Africa is ever-growing, and one of its selling points is its ability to employ other Web3 applications. Virtual tourism can benefit travel agencies and organizations by reinventing their booking systems.
Various web3 applications in Africa, such as NFT and crypto or digital currency, allow users to purchase airline tickets from the comfort of their homesteads easily. A recent study shows that users had greater ease making travel bookings in more immersive virtual reality environments.
Virtual tourism can offer this capability, and using NFT brings about digital ownership. This technology improved booking systems for travel organizations by reducing the necessity of human intervention.
Virtual tourism can redefine Africa’s tourism industry by offering uses a different alternatives. Today Cuenca, Hotel Riu Plaza Espana and the Offering of the Virgin of Pilar are some of the few tourist sites diving into the Metaverse. These are the few projects that have dared to venture into the unknown world of virtual tourism. Alternate applications of its elements vividly express the effects of web3 on Africa’s economy.
Virtual tourism is still an introduced concept; only a few organizations within the content have considered the alternative. As Africa progresses in its Web3 journey, the Metaverse might redefine more than just the tourism industry.