In the realm of tourism, where immersive experiences reign supreme, a new frontier is emerging – sensory tourism.

With the Internet of Senses (IoS) on the horizon, our perception and interaction with the world are undergoing a significant transformation. Travellers now seek to engage all their senses, creating memories that are not just visual but also tactile, olfactory, and auditory. “With sensory tourism, you won’t just see the world; you’ll smell it, taste it, and feel it too,” explained Futurologist, Professor Rocky Scopelliti.

Imagine Immersive Experiences

Imagine stepping into a bustling market in Marrakech. The scent of spices fills the air, vibrant textiles catch your eye, and the sounds of hawkers bargaining surround you. With IoS, this experience becomes even more vivid. Virtual reality headsets can transport you to the heart of the souk. Allowing you to feel the rough texture of handwoven rugs and taste the tang of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Even mundane activities can transform into multisensory adventures. Picture a stroll through Central Park in New York City. The crunch of autumn leaves underfoot, accompanied by the scent of roasted chestnuts and distant saxophone music. With IoS technology in your smart glasses, you can enhance this experience. Historical tidbits about the park’s landmarks overlay your walk, and you can receive personalised café recommendations based on your tastes.

Opportunities and Challenges

The implications of sensory tourism extend beyond entertainment. Destinations can differentiate themselves in a competitive market by curating experiences that engage all the senses. These lasting impressions linger long after travellers return home. “With the Internet of Senses, every travel memory becomes not just a snapshot, but a full sensory experience,” says Rocky.

Moreover, IoS technology offers new accessibility avenues, enabling individuals with disabilities to experience the world in unprecedented ways. However, there are challenges. Privacy concerns loom large as the collection of sensory data raises questions about consent and surveillance. Additionally, there’s the risk of sensory overload. An abundance of stimuli might overwhelm travelers, detracting from their enjoyment.

Sensory tourism, driven by the Internet of Senses, promises to revolutionize travel. By using technology to engage all our senses, destinations can create richer, more immersive experiences that go beyond traditional tourism. As we embrace this new era of experiential travel, the possibilities are as endless as our imagination.

Listen to the full conversation below.