The effective halt to travel that has taken place due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in travel consultants re-booking and canceling clients’ upcoming tours. To keep the public’s desire to travel going during the lockdown, some travel corporations have begun to offer virtual tours of destinations and hotels – offering us a prevue of what we could be experiencing once we are done with the critical situation of COVID-19. Here are ten virtual tours companies worth sharing with your consumers, whether to be in contact or instigate a future booking:
1. Club Med at Home is offering a weekly series of activities, with destination workout videos like yoga in Italy or HIIT exercises in the Maldives led by Club Med staff, and recipes of Club Med signature foods. There is also more than 30 Club Med resorts across the globe on 360-degree virtual resort trips from Bali to the French Alps.
2. Belmond is presenting live programming on its Instagram (@belmond), which will consist of poetry and music encouraged by travel, soothing meditation practices, nourishing nutrition and enriching floral inspiration. The IGTV content will then live on Belmond’s IGTV feed for users to re-watch.
3. The Emerald Isle has long been the background for TV and movies, from the Seven Kingdoms in Game of Thrones to the Jedi knight’s island hideaway in Star Wars to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Tourism Ireland has pieced together a video that highlights just why the island of Ireland is a star of the screen.
4. Explore Sagano bamboo forests and sushi-making from this comprehensive 360-degree VR movie from the Japan National Tourism Organization. Other videos take you through Japanese culture—Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan’s national sport Sumo and Kabuki, a traditional Japanese theatrical art. Don’t forget about the famed Cherry Blossoms in bloom, of which there are quite a lot of virtual tours.
5. Download Chile 360, a free app where you can virtually travel around wonders from the Torres del Paine National Park to the Atacama Desert to Easter Island, famed for archaeological sites such as approximately 900 monumental statues called moai. The National Historical Museum of Chile is offering virtual tours as well.
6. Take an expedition of the Czech Republic’s Punkva Caves, a cave system within the Moravian Karst. See the churches of stalagmites and stalactites as you visit the bottom of Macocha Abyss and take a boat along the subterranean Punkva River. Czech Tourism’s other 360-degree tours visit the lively city of Prague to the castles and primitive streets in Ceský Krumlov.
7. A series of 360-degree images on YouVisit’s virtual tour reconnoiters the wonders of Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca citadel in Peru. The tour also consists of a voiceover guide with info on the architecture, history and resident alpacas.
8. For something a little nearer to home, Google Earth is offering a series of directed virtual tours of 31 national parks around the nation. From Acadia to Zion, get a splendid glimpse of the trails and vistas on a “hike” from the ease of home.
9. Experience what it feels like to climb Mount Everest with an hour-long VR recreation of the excursion. It begins at Basecamp, followed by the Khumbu Icefalls, overnight at Camp 4, the perilous Hillary Step and finally surmounts the summit of Everest.
10. For patrons who take delight in history and art, you can recommend a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel, or one of the 2,500 museums and galleries around the world that teamed up with Google Arts & Culture, including the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Guggenheim in New York City.