Synthravel unveils guided tours for the ‘virtual’ novice

Advertisers are to be targeted by a new company offering “virtual travel” to online communities such as Second Life and City of Villains.

Advertisers are to be targeted by a new company offering “virtual travel” to online communities such as Second Life and City of Villains.

Synthravels claims to be the first tour operator to offer a guided service to virtual worlds. It is promising “many lands to discover that will ravish your imagination”.

Mario Gerosa, the co-founder of the company, says it will target a range of subscribers, including parents wanting to become more aware of what their children are doing online. He adds that it would also be a way to demonstrate to corporate brands the value of investing in virtual worlds.

It is the latest in a series of attempts to commercialise the new online communities. Last week, Reuters set up a news agency in Second Life to report on the site, and companies such as Adidas and Reebok have launched online shops. It is reported that some companies on the site make more than $100,000 (£53,750) a year by trading virtual goods and services.

But the sites can be difficult for new users to navigate and require many hours of game play to master tedious tasks. The Synthravels’ tours are developed by its staff, which includes computer programmers and experienced gamers, and will visit 24 virtual worlds. The company is based in Milan and was set up by Gerosa, a journalist at Condé Nast Traveller Italy, and Matteo Esposito, of game design company Imille.

Users register on the site and choose a destination, with the day and hour they prefer. Visitors need to install the game or virtual world on their PC before joining the tour.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here