#Virtual tourism: people travel the world through quarantined screens
Self-isolation and an inability to venture outdoors can seem like a nightmare to travel enthusiasts. But people from all over the world have found an alternative in digital tours of countries, cities and monuments. Google Arts and Culture offers a virtual tour of historical sites/monuments, while national parks, museums and galleries offer art enthusiasts a digital tour. Tourism boards from various countries/cities are offering a 360-degree view of the must-see places and travelers are using their previous travel experiences to tell audiovisual stories. In short, virtual tourism has been a sigh of relief for many.
QuaQua virtual tour to Rialto
The idea of virtual tourism revolves around consuming a destination's visual content before visiting it, or even as an alternative source of entertainment, says Purav Shah, CEO and co-founder of QuaQua, a virtual travel company. The recent travel ban has led to an encouraging increase on the company's platform.
A virtual tour of Venice, Italy through the QuaQua virtual platform
While we had approximately 700,000 visitors to the platform in the month of February, we are on the verge of reaching one million in the coming days (in March alone). Our social media managers have not only seen a gradual increase in visits, but the interaction time has also increased considerably, says Purav, adding: In the last four months, we have accumulated more than nine million video visits. , and we have just arrived The 10 million mark.
Traveling from the confines of their homes.
Phan's Rohan and Geetika Baranwal, who were married in February, were supposed to go to Switzerland for their honeymoon, but the global pandemic ruined their plans to dance as SRK and Kajol in the Snowy Mountains. Now the couple is hooked on Switzerland's tourism websites, which offer a panoramic view of the country.
A panoramic view of Bern in Switzerland
“Since we are confined home, we spend at least two hours each day looking at the mountains, the beauty of the landscape, the ancient architecture and the streets of Switzerland. And although it is not close to what one feels in Switzerland, it gives us enough idea about the place and helps us plan our honeymoon in the future ”, says Geetika.
Saquib Nazim from Kolkata, who was supposed to be in Bali now, is exploring the beaches virtually. “The audio-help tour is teaching me more about these beaches than I could have otherwise learned. In fact, the AR-VR assisted underwater activities on their website push me to try them out when I visit the site, ”he says.
As part of his studies, the University of Delhi Fine Arts and History student Vishakha Gaur was supposed to travel to the Netherlands to visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Although his plans have been postponed now, he continues his project by studying the museum and the artist's work through virtual tours. “The digital guide has some of Van Gogh's best works and letters and I can read, look at these masterpieces up close and do my research right from my room. It is giving me enough time to study them without having to move anywhere, says the 23-year-old.
A virtual tour of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
People in self-isolation can spend their time exploring virtual reality simulations of an existing location. Samrat Patnaik of TripExploria says: “People have now found an inexpensive way to explore places like Paris, London, Rome, etc. sitting at home and now they can choose whether they want to travel to that place after the virtual reality show in the future. However, the facility is limited to people who have virtual reality equipment and large-scale travel companies who can make the technology available to their selected customers. For others, travel videos and vlogs do the job. ” Kunjal Karaniya Ganger, founder of Unplugged Moments, adds that experiences like these help keep plans for the future alive.
Louvre museum, paris
Experts believe that even viewing inspiring travel content with an infotainment angle and storytelling can provide a breather when you're locked up.
St. Mark's Square, Venice Italy
“Self-isolation has created the urge to travel more, earlier. Therefore, content like this allows you to visit a place virtually and gives you the security of adding a location to your future travel plan, while giving you the satisfaction of traveling as a temporary stop, while the world heals. . People virtually visit Venice to see its beauty during the day or night, ride the gondola along the grand canal, walk through St. Mark's Square, all from the comfort of their homes, says Purav.
Historians, bloggers, and writers share previous travel experiences.
Historian Rana Safvi has started a series of online trips where she will share photos of historical places such as Fort Daulatabad in Aurangabad, Dargah of Khwaja Khizr in Sonepat, Bhitargaon in Kanpur, museums representing Mughal poetry and miniature paintings, etc., which has visited.
Rana Safvi in Safa Shahouri
She tweeted a photo of herself standing in front of Safa Shahouri that he captioned: “So, since we cannot travel and we are confined to the house, let me take you on a series of trips with me to various monuments and museums that I have visited over the years. . The elegant Safa Shahouri was built in 1560 by Ibrahim Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur in Ponda Goa. #travelwithme
Dargah of Khwaja Khizr posted by Rana Safvi on her Twitter
And she is not the only one doing this. Travel writer Manjulika Pramod has started a series of trips for people to virtually transport themselves to various destinations. “I am using my past experiences more judiciously now. I'm dabbling with new ideas for making videos. I am creatively putting together photos of places like Thailand, Malaysia, countries in the Middle East and Europe, etc., and writing more about human stories from those places, so that people can read and connect with the vibe of these places, he explains.
Cultural trail in Malaysia by Manjulika Pramod
Manjulika has also started a series of illustrations that represent the culture of the places he has visited and will create virtual guided tours for him. She emphasizes that traveling in an armchair is reviving in this moment of confinement. The images, the videos will have to be combined with music to revive the memories and talk about a place, the people and their cultures, adds Manjulika.
Gond illustration of Manjulika
The video of the digital tour of the traveler Ankur Chugh from Malta, shared on various social media platforms, generated great appreciation from those who had to cancel their summer travel plans. Today, people are able to engage with that audiovisual content more than before, so travel-related video blogging is also on the rise now, he adds.
Matlta (for representation only)
Virtual tourism, a respite for everyone
Exploring Mumbai through virtual reality: Bambiayya VR, a virtual reality drive-in taxi takes you on a digital tour of Mumbai, where the city's iconic sights (the CST, the BMC building, an Iranian café, a Koliwada compound and the chawls) have been represented through illustrations.
Meet the Kakar Samaj: Madhya Pradesh Tourism offers a digital tour that gives a glimpse into the life of Kakar Samaj, the community of rope weavers living amidst the historic ruins of Burhanpur, MP.
Visit these national parks and monuments: All national parks in the US USA They're closed, but the National Park Service virtual tours allow people to take a digital tour of some of its most popular historical sites, museums, and parks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone National Park in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River in New York and Pennsylvania, and the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.
For art enthusiasts: Google Arts and Culture, in association with 2,500 +museums and galleries across the globe continue to offer virtual tours of The British Museum, London, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Louvre museum, paris , Vatican museums, Rome, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., etc.