Wales showcased to the world in new metaverse experience

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Deeside.com > News

Posted: Tue 14th May 2024

Welsh Government have announced that 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 here for real.

The “immersive experience” has been created by Visit Wales to inspire future tourists by showcasing the range of experiences, places and attractions available to explore across Wales in real life.

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.

These include:

  • A historic castle with a hidden map of Wales to be found
  • A cable car ride – similar to that in Llandudno – for visitors to travel from one side of the metaverse to the other
  • An amphitheatre, like that which stood in Roman-era Caerleon, with screens showcasing highlights of Wales’ vibrant music and culture.

According to the Welsh Government there are 600 million global visitors annually across a number of metaverse platforms, with Wales’ one being hosted on the platform Spatial.

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 through such a ‘world’.

Anyone entering the Wales metaverse can take on quests too, including collecting 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.

“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,” explained Steffan.

“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 has detailed how Visit Wales is “using billboard ads in the virtual world of Roblox”.

The Welsh Government claim that ‘these ads reach people in highly populated and visible locations, around one of the biggest metaverse communities in the world.’

Minister for Tourism, Hannah Blythyn, 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. No pricing details or ongoing costs have been released.

The Minister continued: “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.”

iCreate founder Dawn Lyle, 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. Since launch the below website is reporting around 200 extra views .

To explore Wales in the Metaverse, visit visitwales.com/metaverse

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