Virtual Travel is now the new normal

BY PUJA GUPTA

New Delhi, July 1 (IANSlife) Travel is one of the most rewarding and enriching adventures one can indulge in. Every year, travel enthusiasts from across the world plan their trips well in advance to ensure that they don't miss out on a single opportunity to make the most of the world's beauty. However, the Covid-19 pandemic washed off all itineraries and cancelled plans that travellers were eagerly looking forward to.

Amid these mishappenings, social media has come to the rescue of travel buffs. Through engaging digital campaigns and activations, various tourism boards kept hungry travellers well-fed by designing innovative experiences that gave hodophiles a sense of adventure while they stayed inside their homes. From digital trips to never-before virtual experiences, social media has kept the traveller in us in touch with our real spirits - giving us a satisfaction of sorts while leaving us wanting more at the same time.

Here's a look at some of the most fascinating virtual travel experiences that every travel hungry soul must indulge in amid this lockdown.

Digital adventures across New South Wales, Australia

Right from bringing The Australian Reptile Park to your lounge room with the virtual series to launching a suite of still and video Zoom-ready NSW specific assets, NSW has gone all out to connect with its travellers. Bonding with family about travel got a lot more fun with NSW's collection of 18 digital puzzles. Featuring the beautiful NSW landscapes, Sydney skyline and some cuddly creatures and are a fun way to revisit some of your favourite spots or take a trip somewhere new while keeping your mind active in isolation. All of the puzzles are automatically set to 32 pieces. Similarly, New South Wales' stunning landscapes, unique experiences and talented locals played a starring role in Tourism Australia's Live from Aus broadcast and live stream activation which presented viewers with the best of NSW food and wine, nature and wildlife, as well as arts and culture to audiences.

Live adventures of Wilderness and Wildlife

Safari in South Africa - In a quest to relieve the tedium of isolation, &Beyond has collaborated with wildlife broadcasting experts, WildEarth, to stream (in real time) twice-daily, three-hour long game drives from &BEYOND Ngala Private Game Reserve, &BEYOND Phinda Private Game Reserve, Djuma Private Game Reserve, Tswalu and Pridelands Conservancy. Authentic and non-scripted, the game drives will follow the sights and sounds of the African wilderness as they unfold. Hosted by expert &BEYOND and WildEarth field guides, the drives will be streamed over a variety of social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Instagram each day.

Visit Iconic locations and well-loved monuments from your living room

Best views of Cape Town in South Africa - The 360 degree virtual tour allows you to see all of the iconic sites in Cape Town from almost every angle. Click on the helicopter to fly above Table Mountain, get down to street level in the city centre and discover everything you ever wanted to know about this incredible, cultural city. A number of Virtual Tours of Cape Town have been created, including Virtual Tours of Boulders Beach to Cape Point LightHouse, and the V&A Waterfront, as well as Greenways Hotel, the Waterford Wine Estate, Goedemoed Country Inn, and more.

The finest of Cultural Experiences from the Comfort of your home

There's no greater joy than cooking a meal and sharing it with your family, especially during these exceptional times. Get your loved ones together, either at home or online and join a brother-sister duo in their kitchen in Marrakech in a private cooking class and learn how to make Tajine.

Fulfill adventure checklist with these adventure tours

Raft down the Zambezi River in Zambia and Zimbabwe - The Zambezi is famous not only for the Victoria Falls, but also for its rapids: rafting and kayak amateurs from all over the world come here. Join in with the experience at home with this immersive video, where you can watch the river rush past and enjoy the rugged scenery on both sides of the banks.

Paragliding over Cape Town in South Africa - The paraglider's view is thrilling even from your couch. Where you'll be able to see the rugged outline of Cape Town, lapped by the sea, broccoli-topped mountains and the tiny buildings that speckle the landscape.

A Trip down History

Tour the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt - The collection of perfectly symmetrical sandy tombs are rightly considered one of the greatest archeological sites in the world. And now you can walk through the huge complex without having to get up from your sofa. This virtual tour, created with Google Maps, allows you to virtually get on ground level and explore the site step by step.

Discover Nature like never before!

Live stream the Northern Lights from home - While you're quarantining at home, you can still see one of nature's most stunning atmospheric phenomena: Explore.org and Polar Bears International are live streaming the northern lights. The live cam is located at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba, Canada. Since the cam is situated directly under the aurora oval, you'll see an amazing view of emerald green curtains of lights dancing in the arctic sky.

Coasts of Northern Ireland - Step onto the land of giants without worrying about spilling your Guinness. Giant's Causeway is full of basalt columns, history, and ancient mythology, making it the perfect place to get lost in for a few hours... or days if your technology will allow it. The hexagonal landscape was formed around 60 million years ago due to slow-cooling lava. Immerse yourself in this world of wonder by starting your virtual tour at the Giant's Port, then make your way to the hexagon-lined coast of the Grand Causeway.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])
 

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