Virtual Tour During the Pandemic – Travel the World the Virtual Way!

Things are soon going to get normal and you’ll travel the world freely AGAIN. till then, you have these virtual ways to explore the destinations.

virtual tour during the pandemic

The clock struck midnight… 00:00, 1/1/2020..!

Billions of people around the world anticipated the ‘Cinderella’ moment with bated breath, to usher in the New Year, with a fiery energy, like it had been so for no other year before!

Rhapsodies of praise echoed into the atmosphere from everywhere; parties and drinks galore, massive scale of celebrations and unrestricted scenes of jubilations, marked the special hour across the globe! While an expensive display of shimmering fireworks decorated the skyline in some places, and ornamental lightings on streets & buildings crowned others, no one is quite sure as to why exactly they expected the Year 2020 to be a landmark year in the history of the planet. As though a ‘magic spell’ had been cast, everybody unanimously thought, that it is certainly going to be a year of change; in fact not just a change, but one of ‘renaissance’ in each of their lives.

Setting foot into the first month of January, many a people began chalking down 12-month planners in full spree – drawing a list of things to be accomplished in the year, calculating the amount of time to be invested into each of these objectives, setting ambitious deadlines to see their goals coming to fruition, and even targeting future prospects to be followed based on the ‘favorable’ outcomes of this year… and so on…

But then, just as it all seemed right… who would have imagined or even dreamt that everything would turn topsy-turvy, even before the end of the second month of February? A stealthy ‘virus’ had been clandestinely making its way into daily life, and soon exposed its uncontrollable malicious spread, so much so that all the countries started declaring complete “lockdowns” one by one, like a domino effect; in essence plunging the entire world into a shocking standstill – something that was unheard of and un-experienced in nearly a century! A deadly pneumonic ‘corona-virus’ pandemic engulfed the Earth, silencing the cacophonous exuberance of human race.

Everyone saw their ‘plans’ crumble and collapse like a pack of cards! Out of all the economic spheres of activities, the TRAVEL industry is the one which has been badly hit and bruised due to careful, calibrated and judicious movement of transport facilities as a consequence of the pandemic. With a compelling obligation to adhere to safety protocols as directed by WHO [World Health Organization], stay-at-home and work-from-home guidelines in order, and newly laid air, water and road travel regulations limiting to the most essential services, TOURISM in its true sense has indefinitely taken a back seat in the global agenda.

Cancellation of tickets, halting of public conveyances, suspension of visas, grounding of domestic and international flights, closure of tourist sites, clamping on sightseeing, shutting down of travel agencies, and firing of tour guides, inevitably happened by the blink of an eye, leading to severe disappointments and unalterable losses.

Yet, as the days passed by, a new rage caught the fancy of the brains that were constantly roving and the hearts that yearned to reach out to far-flung retreats despite the disease outbreak. So, perfectly understanding the needs of the human ‘mindset’, several nations permitted opening up of new web-pages online in order to allow a ‘safe’ ‘VIRTUAL’ experience of touring for those restless minds that crave for “travelling”.


Google Arts and Culture Virtual Tourism

Google Arts and Culture is among the best online platforms to amuse you on exquisite virtual vacations as you recline on your snug sofas! It offers 360° panoramic captures of places, 3D models for augmented ‘reality’ and sometimes interactive features to get ‘as close as possible’ to the points of interest.

For instance, you can:

→ go all the way to Rome to discover the arena at the oval amphitheatre of the Colosseum;

→ revel in the pleasure of spotting Van Gogh’s masterworks of art while roaming at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris;

→ learn the impact of climatic changes when wandering about the Gereza Fort, a heritage site at Tanzania;

notice the Indian-inspired architectural intricacies of Queen Victoria’s Durbar Room, in the United Kingdom;

→ stroll through Tokyo’s Meiji era with Ukiyo-e woodblock print pictures at Japan’s Keio University Library;

→ admire the stonework of the iconic marble mausoleum, the Taj Mahal in India;

→ dive into the incredible canopies and crisscrossing rivers of the Amazon rainforests in South America;

→ check out breathtaking bird-views of the Peleş Castle in Romania;

→ board a time-machine and travel back to Ancient Egypt to study the mysteries of the Pyramids of Giza, meet the Mummies, and crack the hieroglyphic code;

→ feel lost in Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence in Istanbul and reminisce his novel of the same name;

… and likewise so on, an endless list of thousands and thousands of locations from every nook and corner of Planet Earth. Youtube Subscribe Banner GIF


Google Street View Virtual Travelling

Google Street View and Google Earth serve similar purposes by promising to virtually transport you to your desired ‘stop’ at any convenient time from your time-zone, and ‘literally’ walks you through say the Grand Canyon, or a Disneyland, or an Angkor Wat, or the Kruger National Park, or even Times Square New York etcetera. You name it, and tour it!

Amazingly, Google and NASA’s partnership allows you to take off onto deep explorations into space! You could get yourself launched on the surface of Mars, go orbiting around the Moon, be fascinated by the astronomical working designs inside the Kennedy Space Center, and so much more…!


In fact,

not just Google, but there are many others in the juggernaut of providing virtual escapades to the leisure ‘internet travelers’ through their mobile or laptop screens, such as…

  • Zoos Victoria, a ‘zoo-society’ committed to animal welfare in Australia; especially boosts the theme of protecting animals which are on the brink of extinction. It has embarked on a fulfilling mission to bring their zoos, sanctuaries and animals to your ‘Home’!

Well, so what if you can’t go there yourself right now?

– you can easily lean back and have fun watching their recently curated series of videos, like, going on a safari of the Werribee Open Range Zoo, or get introduced to the gorillas at Melbourne zoo;

– and not to forget to mention their ‘24/7 live-streaming’ to catch the resident animals live in action whenever you please…, for example you can observe how penguins are fed, get to know the koalas, and find the lions fast asleep in their enclosures… all facilitated through their ‘live animal cams’.

  • By the same token, Lonely Planet, an online travel guide, has come up with many inspirational destinations to set out on ‘day dreamy’ virtual holidays! All you need to do is choose one from the ‘menu’ with just a ‘click’.

Suppose, an ideal ‘trip’ to Thailand through the website…

– it ensures a satisfying and immersive experience of exploring the ‘Land of Smiles’ via a selective compilation of videos, music, movies, photo-stories, and podcasts that showcase Thai’s rich history, famous people, cultural highlights, geographical peculiarities, food recipes, shopping mania, sandy beaches, magnificent Buddhist temples etc.

– it even shares useful links of some classic books and short reads whose gripping chapters speak volumes about the idiosyncrasies related to the place by portraying detailed descriptions of life behind Thailand’s touristy veils.

  • Toeing the same line, claims that though there is nothing to beat the excitement of chasing the ‘Northern Lights’ in person, they have found that the ‘next best thing’ is to watch the Aurora in virtual reality (VR)!

– They have diligently worked on VR film projects to include the enticing ‘fluorescent’ lights coloring the Arctic skies, merry-full reindeer sledding activities and alluring ice hotels in the village of Abisko, in Sweden.

– These footages are a sure bet to take you out on the most enjoyable ‘Aurora Vacation’ for the time-being.


It’s been more than 8-9 months into the pandemic which is showing no signs of disappearing anytime pronto. Tourism industry has hit rock bottom. Although the World Tourism Organization [UNWTO] has issued a statement that “the safe restart of tourism is possible”; humankind is still vary of venturing out, fearing that they may not be able to ‘socially distance’ themselves, which is one of the most dominant rules of etiquette at this hour.

Therefore, capitalizing on the current circumstances, some tour operators have initiated the concept of ‘virtual guided tours’ at a reasonable fee, to be in hand in glove with the ‘new normal’. With the help of local hosts, they arrange ‘live’ encounters of the chosen cities or spots, on their digital platforms, along with ‘live’ chat options in a bid to make it more interesting.

However, these new business tactics can no doubt blow your mind, but may not actually reach up to the mark, for not too many people would be willing to shell out their money for ‘paid’ VR tours, when there is an ocean of ‘free’ travel-based content available to entertain themselves.


So, where are we headed with virtual touring?

Best Virtual Travel Touring Ways

Whilst tremendous efforts are being channeled in the direction of subsiding the commotion and panic regarding health affairs that have risen over the past few months…;

  • one group among the masses thinks that a fresh form of trouble has flown out of Pandora’s Box compelling us to get accustomed to living with the coronavirus,
  • whereas the other group believes that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is only a matter of time before we are able to get back to pre-Covid {coronavirus disease} lifestyle post-pandemic.

The ’positives’ of this topic in question can be counted as lesser pollution, lesser carbon footprint, easier on the pockets, passport-less access, no hassles of getting sandwiched between crowds, no physical stress, no worries about missed or delayed schedules, no weather concerns and far more informative presentation of facts that enable better selection of places to jot down in an itinerary, suiting individual needs, and hence better pre-planning for an actual visit whenever it happens.

The ‘virtual concept’ works exceptionally well for the very aged who are unable to move around, those who are busily tied down to their jobs that they are unable to ask for long leaves, or those with special needs/inabilities which prevents them from travelling.

On the ‘flipside’, it can never wholly replace REAL tourism, for the joy of ‘doing’ things on a tour cannot be entirely perceived simply by seeing. Even the most captivating visuals can only enhance the overall impressions of a place, but not substitute for the happiness of standing right there and taking a photograph with your own camera! It can never be the same as tasting the local street delicacies, sea-walking yourself with a school of fish swimming around you, or getting wrapped by a chill breeze on a starry night.

Forbye, it might even dampen the enthusiasm of a tourist as they would already know much more about what’s in store even before getting there.

It’s difficult to predict if ‘eco-friendly’ virtual tourism shall totally dictate the future course, but it has definitely proven to be a game-changer in this sector.

Beyond recreational, where virtuality can be educative and make one wiser, only reality can be transformative enough to leave a lasting impact on one’s personality!

It will be up to the ‘responsible globetrotters’ to follow sustainable hygienic practices, respect fellow human beings, and chip in to eventually find a middle ground between the two (virtual vs real), as the world slowly opens its doors, for the very underlining motto of tourism is to bring ‘people and places’ closer.

Well…! For the moment,

Let’s pray that we get past the pandemic mode to a redefining normal mode asap.


3 thoughts on “Virtual Tour During the Pandemic – Travel the World the Virtual Way!”

  1. An extravagant and exuberant spell of magical travel by the author’ s narration, is truly a whopping boon to every individual who got stuck due to this fateful pandemic lockdown.

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