Virtual Tourism in 2020 and Beyond Begins with an Idea

Virtual Tourism in 2020 and Beyond Begins with an Idea

Virtual Tourism in 2020 and Beyond

Begins with an Idea

Many of us have encountered science fiction classics from H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Neal Stephenson and Philip K. Dick, who were master storytellers of a forthcoming brave new world.  If they were not read, they were viewed in movies, and have influenced our lives, shaping our future.  These worlds were imagined.  Some featured wall screens that allowed for immersive interaction from their then citizens, allowed people to experience a world beyond their daily routine, travelling instantly across the world in their mind and provided even sensory opportunities to the physically challenged.  Such scenarios bring opportunities for rethinking tourism and positioning our cities for the future.   

The world is changing rapidly from biotechnology (i.e.,  cloning of body organs, robotic pets who serve as assistants) to on-the-spot data collection, archival and retrieval, increasingly connecting work and home environments as well as once laughable and literally out-of-this world travel destinations.  These are merely some examples of what to expect in the near to distant future.

The Vision Outlines the Path

What is a smart nation, other than the foresight of its leaders embracing the latest and emerging technologies to create the future they envision for their people.   More than ever, technology and our global pandemics, climate warming, and an ever-shrinking world, in which we are all impacted by one another, are critical to the economic and cultural health of our respective nations.

The Path is Guided by Technology

Today, there are reports and demonstrations of what our future will look like in the next 20 to 40 years.   Simply stated, with the onset of 5G, we must be ready to unleash the next level of technology that is both immersive and interactive.   Virtual Reality (VR) has been discussed for more than a century, yet it has taken until now for it to be a reality.  Augmented (AR) and mixed reality (XR) present ways for us to focus on marketing potential, capturing a huge hunk of the growing global e-commerce.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, …. but will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Maya Angelou

Virtual reality represents alternative ways for travel for many, and invites Star Trek scenarios to appeal to our imagination.  Somewhere in between, consumers will find themselves tempted to embrace these possibilities, as such places become inaccessible due to one’s age as well as physical and financial constraints.   For others, they offer a glimpse of destination and culture that they thought was only possible in movies or storybooks. 

As we move beyond 2020, Oman has the cultural capital to bring the past to the present and to shape its future in the world economy in a creative way.  Infrastructures are being reconceived as concrete and virtual spaces, in which both intertwine to create a new way of living and doing business.   A hotel is not just a place to stay during a vacation but may represent a virtual pod for tourists to connect and re-experience travel destinations. 

Impossible is Not an Option 

Whether one is booking a hotel stay, or checking out of life for a while, the tourism business is continually challenged and must be redefined in terms of what it means to getaway for the weekend or a month.   The integration of tourism, culture and e-commerce offer opportunities that are best expressed as experiences and shared as stories by the Omani people to the world.  It is best to consider that which may be improbable to you at this moment in time will likely be common practice in the years ahead.  

Unique Experiences for All

An opportunity lost is a solution overlooked due to fear and lack of foresight.  Cosmic Surrounding Business, LLC is positioned to tell your story authentically by creating and distributing immersive and rich content to a world audience, and we do so by developing unique experiences for tourists, one explorer and one adventure at a time, and then reverberate those stories across social media and network distribution services throughout the globe, all the while capturing the mind and heart of all to fall in love with Oman.    Enter into our storybook, for it is real and can be felt through new and emerging technologies in ways never imagined previously. 

by Phylis West-Johnson, Ph.D.  

ICT and Quality Education

Extending the Reach of High Quality P-12 Education through ICT

by Mark Sivy, Ed.D.

Realizing that a well-educated populace is essential for boosting national prosperity and competitiveness in an international economy, top-level education departments and ministries around the world are now focused on ensuring that their P-12 curricula and instruction are adjusted to modern standards. In Oman and around the GCC, this task involves ensuring that students have the specific skills, literacies, knowledge, and expertise that will ensure their success locally, regionally and in the global marketplace. A crucial piece in accomplishing this, both in terms of learning outcomes and instructional delivery, is ICT (Information, Communications and Technology).


As a driver of learning outcomes, ICT can play an important role in the development of new Omani curriculum and instruction strategies. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has been at the forefront of providing a basis for the remodeling and modernization of teaching, learning and curriculum, with ICT being a significant consideration. Even though established as a US K-12 education initiative, the organization’s recommendations have relevance and implications for GCC educational systems. One of the major categories found within the Partnership’s renowned publication, P21 Framework Definitions, was created in response to the fact that we live in a global environment that is infused with and dependent upon technology and media. The ICT portion of the document offers the following highlights about the knowledge, skills, and expertise that student should possess as a result of the learning process:

Information Literacy – 1) accessing and evaluating information and 2) using and managing information

Media Literacy – 1) analyzing media and 2) creating media products

ICT Literacy – 1) applying technology effectively, ethically, and legally


Mobile LearningAs a medium for instructional delivery, ICT can play a significant role in the modernization of Oman’s educational system. One of the challenges in many countries has been the provision of a quality and equal education to all children regardless of their circumstances. Around the world, ICT infrastructures are being updated and expanded to provide Internet access to both urban and rural destinations and recipients. In Oman, the development of this infrastructure is underway and when finished it will be able to facilitate learning through the Internet-based transfer of instructional content.

Additionally, Omani schools and learners will need to be provided with devices to receive and make use of educational web content. This e-content should be specifically designed and developed by subject matter experts, master teachers, and instructional designers who are highly specialized in e-learning and the variety of learning devices. Of particular interest and development are mobile learning, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), and other one-to-one initiatives. The implementation of educational ICT is an intricate and complex process that should only be attempted through the direction of a project management team that has curriculum, instruction, and education technology expertise.

Reflection Point – When faced with a steam-rolling technology, you either become part of the technology or part of the road! ~Nigel Willetts