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Metaverse in hospitality and tourism: a critical reflection

Lai-Wan Wong (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Xiamen University – Malaysia, Sepang, Malaysia and Center for Advanced Computing and Telecommunications, Arau, Malaysia)
Garry Wei-Han Tan (UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Faculty of Business, Design and Arts, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, Kuching, Malaysia; School of Economics and Management, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, China and College of Business Administration, Adamson University, Manila, Philippines)
Keng-Boon Ooi (UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University Kuala Lumpur Campus, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; FORE School of Management, New Delhi, India and Faculty of Business, Design and Arts, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, Kuching, Malaysia)
Yogesh K. Dwivedi (School of Management, Swansea University, Swansea, UK and Department of Management, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune & Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Pune, India)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 27 September 2023

Issue publication date: 24 May 2024

843

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to discuss the current context, scope and impacts of a metaverse in the hospitality and tourism industry. Although existing literature discussed the potentials of the metaverse in this context, the ways the metaverse work is still being defined and accessing a complete metaverse is still not yet possible. This existing knowledge will become increasingly sophisticated and complex as developments in the metaverse continue, eventually contributing to a knowledge gap in knowledge, and its implications in shaping how the future digital environment should take form.

Design/methodology/approach

This work is based on a critical reflection of the existing developments and applications of the metaverse. Drawing from authors’ experiences, and synthesis of existing works and narratives, this work discusses the applications of the metaverse, critical factors for considerations and applications of the metaverse and proposes the way forward for potential users.

Findings

The metaverse provides new opportunities for the hospitality and tourism industry but the impact of the technology may not be felt immediately. The real challenge lies in developing a responsible digital environment for users and suppliers. Although the aspects to be considered are many, a lack of preparedness is a great obstacle.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of how the metaverse can be applied in the hospitality and tourism sector aiming to provide diverse stakeholders insights into the associated opportunities and pitfalls.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is among the first attempts to critically reflect on the possibilities of the metaverse, and contributes to the discussion on the attributes of the metaverse for tourism and hospitality (e.g. SSIs, decentralization) and includes discussion on special needs users, sustainable usage and climate change, and presents several agendas for further actions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Note: All authors have made equal contributions to the manuscript.

Citation

Wong, L.-W., Tan, G.W.-H., Ooi, K.-B. and Dwivedi, Y.K. (2024), "Metaverse in hospitality and tourism: a critical reflection", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 2273-2289. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-05-2023-0586

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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