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Croeso i Gymru! Wales becomes first UK nation to launch metaverse experience

13 May 2024 4 minute read
Cymru launches in the Metaverse

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.

Features

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.
Users exploring the Metaverse

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 innovative approach to advertising itself to visitors through such a ‘world’.

Opportunity

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 (Thursday 9 May).

Steffan 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.

Wales Metaverse

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.

Showcase

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.

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


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8 days ago

So I can visit a castle that looks like a cartoon and walk around Wales without leaving my house but i must buy the big headset to do it. And how much has this cost the welsh tax payers, if I want to drive to the beach is the speed limit still 20mph making it real as we don’t want to mislead ptospective visitors to our real country and how many cyclists will overtake me on my journey.

Matt Bova
Matt Bova
8 days ago

Using Roblox is targeting a pre-teen audience that is not going to be spending tourist dollars or traveling from their parents’ house.

Likewise – any virtual attractions will take away from the real thing.

What is Visit Wales thinking with spending any resources this way?

Pubs and shops are dying from a lack of foot traffic and Visit Wales is at home playing video games. It’s time for an adult to be named Minister for Tourism.

Mel Fansa
Mel Fansa
8 days ago

Will they fill it with wind farms like the Welsh government and Bute Energy are trying to do to the real Welsh landscape!! That will surely be a great tourist attraction!!

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