As people across the world wait for the coronavirus crisis to pass, many countries are reaching out to potential tourists through virtual tours and eye-catching tweets. If you can’t go “there”, “there” comes to you.
Tourist destinations everywhere are striving to make their sights seen and voices heard so travellers know where to go once this pandemic ends.
The tourism industry — from Greece, Dubai, to Vietnam — have come up with videos, virtual tours, and DIY activities to stay relevant in the minds of future travellers. Here are a few prominent destinations that are using virtual tourism to stay in touch with the world:
Greece From Home is an initiative by the Greek Tourism Ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) and Marketing Greece to help future travellers stay connected with the country. It’s also an attempt at inspiring potential tourists to choose Greece as their next destination.
The platform’s YouTube channel has Greek artists from around the world and includes Greek music, gastronomy, theatre, dance, sports, and fashion.Virtual travellers can visit Greece’s archaeological sites, museums and villages, check out Greek recipes, and go on nature excursions.
The initiative has also partnered with Google’s Grow Greek Tourism Online to offer a series of home-based daily online group seminars free of charge.
The Faroe Islands
With 50,000 people and a rocky 18-island archipelago, The Faroe Islands are reaching out to the world through remote tourism. Their innovative idea enables web users to control a real life tour guide to trek around the archipelago’s towns and islands.
The project saw thousands of people join the first four hour-long free tours and can be found on their official site.
The Danes are doing all they can to get you Denmark at home. From mouthwatering recipes and podcasts in English to virtual reality tours and digital cultural gems, you can see Denmark while staying safe at home.
Go see how the Danish Queen celebrates her birthday in a pandemic or stroll along the Infinite Bridge in Aarhus. Dive into an art gallery to enjoy digital access to the curators’ comments as they take you through the highlights and lowlights of the museum collection online and on social media (@smkmuseum/)!
For a 360 degree view of Dubai and all the beautiful places it offers, go to Dubai 360, one of the best and biggest interactive city tours. See the pinnacle of the Princess Tower or visit the grand Atlantis Hotel.
Roam around its souks and get a bird’s eye view of the city from atop the famed Burj Khalifa. You can nearly smell all the flowers in Miracle Garden and feel the breeze that stirs the turquoise sea surrounding Palm Jumeirah.
There’s also a time lapse video shot from Burj Khalifa Pinnacle for you to experience the rising and setting sun, the fog and wind, and the glimmering nights of this vibrant city.
This lovely country — which saw more than 39 million tourists in 2019 — offers virtual tours of 10 of its best loved places.
From the brooding Wat Si Chum Temple in Sukhothai and King Narai’s Palace in Lopburi to the Handicrafts Village of Nakhon Si Thammarat or Phimai Historical Park in Nakhon Ratchasima, take the tour to experience a different way of being there.
A place of immense simplicity and beauty, Vietnam is attracting eyeballs by putting out some of its major tourist locations in 360 degrees.
See the glowing lanterns of Hoi An and its buildings of royal yellow. Witness Ha Long Bay in all its glory with its limestone islands and ethereal water. Tour the paddy fields and foggy skies of Ninh Binh and imagine walking along the Cho Bop market looking for sumptuous food.
Swiss Tourism has come up with 3D virtual reality clips of its mountains, cities, lakes and cultural sites.
Follow a skier as he skis through paths of pure white snow, or see the top of the Jungfraujoch with a 360-degree virtual view of the impressive mountain world 3454 metres above sea level.
There’s also a virtual road trip that takes you 1600 kilometres afar to experience 22 lakes, 5 Alpine passes and 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites!