Visit Wales launches virtual metaverse

New immersive experience will inspire future tourists across the world, enabling them to explore Welsh places and attractions – ahead of visiting for real.

Wales is the first UK nation to join the metaverse with visitors able to explore a Welsh-inspired landscape as virtual versions of themselves. There, they can enjoy a showcase of the country’s culture and heritage, including a castle with hidden map to be found, a cable car ride and Roman amphitheatre. Visitors can also take part in a quest to collect hidden dragons or build up an interactive itinerary of real-life places to visit and stay.

In front of a Welsh castle, two adults sit supervising a child in a VR headset

Photo courtesy of Visit Wales

The pioneering Visit Wales Metaverse has been created in partnership with Swansea-based iCreate and is being hosted on the Spatial platform and is the latest way for the country to advertise itself to would-be visitors. There’s certainly a big potential audience for this new experience: the metaverse currently boasts some 600m visitors annually. They can access Visit Wales Metaverse via computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or Meta Quest headset.

It’s just one of the ways that the Welsh Government’s Visit Wales is venturing into virtual worlds. Other initiatives include billboard ads in the online game platform Roblox. Just like with real-world billboards, these ads reach people in highly populated and visible locations in one of the biggest metaverse communities in the world.

Hannah Blythyn, Minister for Tourism, says: ‘The Wales Metaverse has been created to reach new audiences – wherever they may be in the world – and inspire them to visit our awesome nation for real. By showcasing some of the best Wales has to offer visitors in this incredibly innovative way, we’re putting Wales in an online sphere were millions of people already meet every day.

‘Wales’ launch into the metaverse has also created a great opportunity to show off the vast range of skills and businesses proudly working in Wales, such as iCreate. It’s a wonderful showcase of digital expertise working seamlessly to promote our vibrant tourism industry.’

Dawn Lyle, Founder of iCreate, adds: ‘Our aim is to bring the endless possibilities of Wales to life in an immersive experience of exploration, helping audiences plan their dream itinerary in Wales while they complete mini quests in the metaverse experience.

‘Wales punches above its weight when it comes to innovation and technology. We’re excited to be a part of this initiative, with the virtual space opening up new worlds of possibility to reach new audiences.’

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