The rapid development of the metaverse and associated Web 3.0 technology is opening the door to new business possibilities for the upcoming future. Blockchain-powered innovations can also revolutionize the tourism business model allowing visitors to travel through history and time.
Metaverse in Historical Tourism
The global tourism industry suffered heavy losses during the global pandemic, leading to businesses looking for alternate revenue models for the upcoming future. The metaverse presents a unique opportunity for travelers to explore ancient or historical sites at the height of their glory unfazed by the passage of time.
Multiple owners and operators of real-world castles have already drafted AR blueprints of the historical properties in possession. The working plan is to attract visitors into the metaverse, where realistic immersion across multiple virtual events will create sales and employment opportunities. The proceeds generated from these virtual tours will assist in the maintenance of aging architectural marvels. In addition, the metaverse may also offer a chance to alter historical narratives.
The Current Development Stage
Most metaverse platforms are currently undergoing the development stage, and actually require time to be properly functional. Arguably, the only area with significant improvement may be the gaming industry. Major gaming companies are often collaborating with blockchain development specialists like HashCash Consultants for their expertise in the underlying technology. Several companies are investing in metaverse development to reap possible benefits in the future. Citigroup recently published a report predicting the metaverse economy to reach $13 trillion by 2030.
Non-Fungible Palaces and Castles
The recent boom in metaverse development has fuelled entrepreneurs to quit their regular job and seek exciting avenues in the digital realm for maintenance funding. Available sources of investment utilize NFTs or non-fungible tokens, launching exhibitions across the architecture and over 20,000 antique collectibles featuring paintings, objects, and more.
For example, online auctions and exhibitions were successfully held side by side at Lobkowicz Palace, Prague. The event held in October 2021 featured both NFTs and paintings aged over 500 years in an attempt to improve accessibility to the nation’s cultural heritage. The launch raised sufficient funds to cover the property’s urgent restoration requirements.
Moving forward to India, Priyadarshini Raje Scindia hails from the direct Maharata dynasty lineage. Her family currently owns and oversees the 200-year old Jai Vilas Palace in Madhya Pradesh which has since been turned into a private museum. She explained her intentions of starting an NFT collection created by local artists and gathering funds for an immersive experience at the museum.
In addition to sustaining palace maintenance and helping local Indian artists, she also intends to utilize the metaverse’s immersive experience to rewrite history and “to tell the real story of my clan, the Maharatas. Retelling the story told by the British, which sounds like a Game of Thrones book — dark and barbaric. We fought for independence from all exterior forces, yet it was made out that we were fighting Indians in India. It is a historic fact that the Maharatas were the rulers of India, post the Mughals. And their narrative and value system are even more essential to study and understand today. I would like to use the platform to change the narrative through art, culture, and history.”
DAOs for History, Castles and Hackathons
Meanwhile, Prince Heinrich Donatus from the Schaumburg-Lipp royal family owns the north German Bueckeburg Castle. Prior to the 1st World War, his family was one of the 16 reigning families in the German Empire. The castle was under US possession post World War 2, and later used by the British Army as its Rhine headquarters. Similar to Scindia, Donatus also looks forward to metaverse incorporation for the preservation of history, and more.
Attempts for selling the castle at even 1 Euro do not attract any buyers due to the associated costs involved. The prince explained the Bueckeburg castle can only be used for cultural and historical relevance. A DAO treasury system is the most likely solution, with the implementation of a metaverse for long-term profits. In reference to the associated DAO type, Donatus states, “A sort of PleasrDAO for castles. They will include decentralized access/stewardship to castles, and castle hackathons — as castles are a cool place for meetups.”
Immersive experiences of the metaverse are finding new uses through historical storytelling as well as augmented surreal scenarios. The time is not far when we will find metaverse to be an accepted model for tourism.