Seoul unveils virtual world for tourism and more
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has launched ‘Metaverse Seoul’, a virtual environment designed to boost tourism and allow its citizens to partake in various activities, including interaction with several services.
The South Korean metropolis has officially become the first city to launch its metaverse platform as part of its five-year roadmap, which involves harnessing the qualities of the metaverse to boost tourism and the adoption of blockchain technology.
The platform, known as Metaverse Seoul, is a platform where users can play games, chat, hold meetings, receive advice on starting a business and take virtual tours of famous sites in the city like Blue House, N Seoul Tower, Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul Forest, and the Han river among others.
Interestingly, Seoul city inhabitants can also file public documents like tax returns and other documents in the metaverse.
“Metaverse Seoul will be an important communication tool for citizens in the new normal…It is an inclusive administrative service that everyone can take advantage of without any time and space obstacles.”
Oh Se-hoon, Mayor of Seoul.
Per reports, the project’s first phase involves creating a platform in the metaverse where residents can file official city complaints and documents, including tax returns. Companies can also consult with their customers in the virtual business centers in the metaverse.
In addition, Users can play games in the metaverse version of Seoul Plaza and embark on tours around the mayor’s office.
The metaverse also has a virtual counseling center called Metaforest, where students can get guidance and advice about their academic challenges in an anonymous manner.
The city of Seoul has reportedly spent about $1.6 million (2 billion won) on the first phase and will invest an additional $2.26 million (2.8 billion won) in the second phase, which is scheduled to start later this year. The final phase will start in 2026.
The South Korean city has been actively involved in the metaverse for some time. The city officially kickstarted its five-year metaverse vision in Sep. 2021 and has been making strides to make the city of Seoul a metaverse haven.
In Nov. 2022, Seoul government officials announced the launch of “Metaverse Ethical Principles,” a set of guidelines to ensure that users can reflect their genuine selves in a secure virtual environment created with a sustainable system that is inclusive to all members.
Late last year, officials of South Korea’s People Power Party (PPP) announced that they are working on creating a “Metaverse Industry Promotion Law” to boost the adoption of web3 and the metaverse.