2020 might be remembered for one of the worst pandemics ever, but this could also be the year that gave birth to the highest number of innovations as countries and businesses transformed their strategies as per the need of the hour, or year in this case.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the tourism industry the hardest. Countries sealed borders, airlines were grounded, people stopped travelling and stayed home for months, popular destinations that were thronged by millions through the year, bore a deserted look. Everything about the first half of 2020 was like something out of a sci-fi novel about a dystopian future.

Well, things seem to be limping back to normal. Some countries have opened borders, but travellers are still not feeling confident enough to travel.

Meanwhile, tourism companies and boards are looking at new ways to promote themselves and get people across the globe to experience destinations in different ways.

Read: Why It’s Time to Revive Mapcrunch and Travel Virtually

Enter Virtual Reality (VR). The new age tech was meant to enhance our experience while exploring the world in real time. Today, VR is the de facto tool for tourism, the alternative to actual travelling. 

So, this World Tourism Day, while you stay in the safe confinements of your home, why not go on a virtual tour?

Virtual reality may never replace traditional travel, but it still offers intriguing possibilities. If the technology becomes sophisticated enough, the more environmentally conscious among us, especially those aiming to reduce carbon footprints, might prefer this form of escape. And VR travel does bring parts of the world to people who are physically unable to visit certain landmarks. Most of all, it could help bring people to places that are otherwise inaccessible. 

Here are some of the most interesting virtual tours on offer right now.

Read: Try a Virtual Tour of the World’s Natural Wonders

Kruger National Park

This park in South Africa is hosting morning and evening safaris online. The virtual show also enables you to interact with an expert game ranger in real time. Safari vehicles, guides on foot, drones, balloons, rovers and remote cams all roam the terrains of the national park to bring the best possible safari viewing experience to your home.

Grand Canyon

Hike to Phantom Ranch via the Corridor Trails, take a raft trip down the Colorado River, and discover ancient places within the Grand Canyon where people lived long ago.

Kenai Fjords

Explore glaciers, fjords, and get up close with lava, and caves, and deep sea dive around coral reefs.

Read: San Juan Like a Local

Machu Picchu

Surround yourself with the wonders of Machu Picchu, the 15th century Inca citadel high up in Peru’s Andes Mountains, without having to make the climb.

Arizona Canyons
You might even work up a sweat as you explore the Arizona desert and its mesmerising slot canyons.

Read: Virtual Tours at the Museum of Flight

Read: 7 Virtual Libraries to Bookmark

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