Virtual Nature

Virtual Nature  Project – Digitalisaatio ja asiantuntijayhteistyö kestävän luontomatkailun edistäjänä/ Digitization and expert cooperation as a promoter of sustainable nature tourism.

The “Digitalization and expert cooperation as a promoter of sustainable nature tourism development project” aims to use new technology to develop virtual nature tourism and the related experience economy. The project is led by Haaga-Helia UAS together with Metropolia UAS and Humak. The goal of the project is to guide and assist tourism operators in producing virtual nature tourism packages aimed at the international market, pilot them with different target groups, search for new and potential sales channels for the products, and develop national cooperation between nature tourism operators and expert organizations. 

Project managers Jouko (Haaga-Helia) and Salla (Humak) in an immersive space called The Box talking about the possibilities of roomscale virtual experiences

Various nature tourism operators will be involved in the project by taking part in cooperative workshops and by one-on-one service design and business counseling. At the same time, surveys and data gathering will be carried out in the project, which will produce information for Finnish tourism operators for the development of operations, internationalization and marketing.

The workshops of the project are divided in two parts: the first three focus on immersive technologies (virtual reality, augmented reality and immersive spaces) and the other three focus on shaping companies’ own ideas to concepts by offering a platform of knowledge and discussion around the perspectives of service design, experience and adventure pedagogy, culture, marketing and possibilities of technology. Additionally, a hackathon course is offered for students to tackle on with company driven challenges around digitization of nature tourism.

The objective is to partially implement the project workshops in cooperation with Savonia’s Digireitit project, so that each project allocates the benefit to the actors of the funding province, and the purpose of the cooperation is to share and utilize new information together. A joint event of sustainable tourism is also organized together with the Carbon Neutral Experience 2.0 project and Hungry for Finland network. In addition, the project cooperates with Chinese partners from Yunnan University.

As part of the project, tourist operators and technology operators collaborate closely to explore synergies and identify potential joint ventures. In addition, a number of pilot applications are developed with the tourist operators together with the Helsinki XR Center development team.

The implementation of the project is divided into five work packages: 

  1. Procurement of material needed for operation and evaluation, 
  2. Joint workshops to develop virtual experience skills,
  3. Control and piloting of virtual product design,
  4. Development of national and international cooperation, and
  5. Communication.

Virtual Nature is a collaboration of:

Check out our website:

As well as highlights from Virtual Nature events at HXRC/Metropolia UAS on our LinkedIn page!

Articles about Virtual Nature

Virtual Nature Workshop series

Virtual Nature Workshop series

30 Jan 2024 | 13 Feb 2024 | 29 Feb 2024 | The Virtual Nature Workshop series brings together tourism & technology companies to find new ways of using XR technologies in nature tourism. Join us in this opportunity to collectively shape the future of sustainable and immersive nature tourism experiences!