ANA Group to Launch Virtual Travel Platform in 2022

Now under development, ANA Neo will allow smartphone users to explore detailed recreations of real-world destinations from the comfort of their homes.

This sample visual shows what ANA Neo’s virtual Kyoto might look like. (Photo: ANA NEO)

The parent company of Japan’s All Nippon Airways has partnered up with JP Games to bring plenty of travel inspiration to housebound gamers through ANA Neo, an interactive virtual platform that will debut next year. Key to the experience is the Sky Whale, where users will be able to “travel” and access interactive activities within ANA Neo. The tool harnesses advanced 3D graphics to create detailed digital renderings of real-world locations from the streets of Kyoto and Vienna to the shores of Hawaii.

“ANA Neo will open up the joy of travel to a much broader audience and provide users with an unrivaled experience,” said Mitsuo Tomita, president and CEO of ANA Neo, in a statement. “Complete with realistic recreations of famous tourist sites and unprecedented shopping options, ANA Neo will help people explore the world from the comfort and convenience of a connected smart device. As the first global airline to launch this type of platform, we are excited to open up new possibilities and new experiences for people.”

Avid gamers will be thrilled to know that the interactive virtual environment is being created by chief producer Hajime Tabata, the man behind the massively successful Final Fantasy XV. Meanwhile, celebrated violinist and composer Taro Hakase will oversee the development of Sky Whale’s soundtrack.

The Sky Whale platform will be divided into three distinct areas. Sky Park features an immersive environment that users can explore on their own or with a group of friends and family. For those inspired to turn their virtual escape into a reality, ANA says it will be possible to book an actual trip that matches the in-game experience.

Another zone is Sky Mall, inspired by airport shopping and entertainment areas. ANA is aiming to promote regional culture and local products by making real-world artisanal crafts and items available worldwide, and customers will be able to utilize their ANA miles and make real-world purchases while logged in to Sky Whale with their smartphones. The final component of Sky Whale is Sky Village, where users can access medical care, education, and government services in a virtual environment.

ANA Neo will be supported by the tourism bureaus of Kyoto, Hokkaido, Okinawa, and the Setouchi region, as well as those representing a slew of destinations outside Japan. These places include Vienna and Houston; Hawaii; and countries like Austria, Canada, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

More information here.

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