Wales becomes first UK nation to launch… | Travolution

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Wales has become the first UK nation to launch in the metaverse, giving virtual visitors from across the world a taste of what they can discover in the country for real.

The immersive experience, created by Visit Wales, is designed to inspire future tourists by showcasing the range of experiences, places and attractions available for them to explore.

Visitors can navigate the Welsh-inspired landscape as a virtual version of themselves, whilst seeing a snapshot of the country’s culture and heritage through a range of features.

You can tour a historic castle, with a hidden map of Wales to be found, or experience a cable car ride – similar to the one in Llandudno – to travel from one side of the metaverse to the other.

There’s even an amphitheatre, like that which stood in Roman-era Caerleon, with screens showcasing Wales’ vibrant music scene and culture.

Global visitors to the metaverse number 600 million annually across a number of metaverse platforms, with Wales’ one being hosted on the platform Spatial. 

This digital space adds to the ever-expanding ways Wales is advertising itself to would-be visitors.

As well as being the first UK nation to be in the metaverse, it is thought that Wales is also the first European nation to take this approach to advertising itself to visitors.

Anyone entering the Wales metaverse can take on quests too, including collecting seven dragons hidden across the ‘island’, and building a virtual interactive itinerary which showcases real-life places to stay, attractions and events.

Steffan Powell, BBC News’ first ever gaming and culture correspondent, hosted a virtual launch event last week. 

He said: Nothing prepares you for that feeling when you’re stood at the top of Pen y Fan for the first time drinking in the views or wandering the sand dunes of Three Cliffs Bay as the tide gently washes away. 

“Through leveraging technology, this Wales metaverse experience will give potential visitors a flavour of all the exciting things you can see and do on a holiday in Wales.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to promote Wales to the world and an innovative way to potentially open millions of sets of eyes to the beauty of Cymru.”

In addition to this Wales Metaverse, Welsh Government’s Visit Wales is using billboard ads in the virtual world of Roblox. 

Much like in the real-world, these ads reach people in highly populated and visible locations, around one of the biggest metaverse communities in the world.

Hannah Blythyn, minister for tourism, said: “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.”

The Welsh world has been created in partnership with Swansea-based Meta architects, iCreate.

Dawn Lyle, founder of iCreate, said: “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.”

The Visit Wales Metaverse is open to the public, and is accessible via smartphone, tablet, laptop, computer, and via Meta Quest headset.

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