360 Blog

Virtual Tourism: Live Guides And A Digital Touring Experience

Angela Hassassian
Angela Hassassian

Jun 23, 2020 - 6 min read

Virtual Tourism: Live Guides And A Digital Touring Experience

Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak, businesses all over the world have suffered. Travel has taken the biggest hit with borders shutting down and group gatherings going bust. Chances are, if you are a tour guide, the Coronavirus pandemic has affected you dramatically. As with everyone facing difficulties, you’re not alone! 1 in 10 jobs worldwide is in the tourism industry (that’s 330 million jobs total) generating 10.3% of global GDP! The world is trying to get back on its feet as we prepare for how offices will change, and what we can expect life to be like after Covid-19. Each industry is trying to come up with ways to adapt to our new reality. 360 Stories is here to help the world of travel with their brand new virtual touring experience! 

Both travel enthusiasts and guides can embrace a new way to do tourism with 360 Stories platform! The kind of tourism that doesn’t need any physical contact. Virtual tourism has become a way for those under lockdown conditions to experience travel from the comfort of their own homes. And while Armchair tourism is not a new concept, it has gained popularity in recent months for obvious reasons. A remote travel experience is an awesome way to spend your time and can be a great distraction. It’s also a wonderful source of inspiration for when the borders do finally open up and travel restrictions get lifted! 

Tour Guides Going Virtual

Many have jumped to support online experiences, giving access to collections in museums or visiting a zoo online. But there’s something missing. Live interaction. Also, there aren’t many ways out there to help those struggling to find work now that their main source of income has been cut off. That’s why we at 360 Stories tried to come up with a solution. Now our platform has a brand new feature and tour guides can connect with guests live and offer an interactive experience in 360 degrees! You can do what you love and start making an income again! 

There is a huge selection of destinations to choose from. And creating a virtual tour is just a matter of a few simple clicks that only takes 5 minutes. There’s no new technology for you to get accustomed to, and you don’t need to be a tech expert to get started. The platform is intuitive and super easy to use. It’s like a combination of Google Street View and Google Hangouts, where you are able to navigate destinations in 360 degrees while video chatting live with your guests! 

Advertise Your Experience

There are several websites now offering an opportunity for tour guides to provide would-be-travelers with an online travel experience as a way to earn an income. These include AirBnB Online Experience, Viator, Get Your Guide and more! As a tour guide, you can advertise your services on any or all of these platforms. Once your guests sign up, you can give them a unique link that will take them to your Live Guided Tour on the 360 Stories platform. Once there, you can walk them through your selected destinations and give them a tour live! Thanks to the power of the internet you can host people while earning some cash using an alternative approach to travel.

Create Your Tour

Once you sign up, you can create a Live Guided Tour and share the invite link with your customers. Creating a tour is really simple. Give your tour a name then start searching for places you want to include in your tour. Once you’ve added your destinations, schedule a date and time for your tour to begin. You can also set the duration of your tour. Finally, choose your time zone (don’t worry, everyone will be shown the time in their local time). As soon as you submit your tour, you will be able to copy the URL generated and share it with your guests. Only those with the link will be able to join your Live Tour. 

If you want to make any adjustments, you can easily edit and duplicate your Live Tour, or remove it completely. You will then be able to join the tour as a presenter. When the tour begins, you will be able to navigate 360 photos and videos of your destinations while chatting with your visitors live. You’ll have total control of what your participants see on the screen. Participants also have access to different stories that can be shared by everyone. Have an interactive conversation with your participants. If we have learned anything from COVID-19, it is that we are able to adapt. Similar to the boom in other video call programs like Zoom, Google Meetings, Facebook Rooms and more, 360 Stories really lets you have an immersive experience with your guests, get personal, get connected and really tell your story. Like any tour, you can choose the format, be yourself and feel free to answer any questions they may have.

Staying One Step Ahead

With the disruption caused by Covid-19, it’s relieving to know that there are new ways for us to share our passions and knowledge with those who are unable to travel. Not only is it a great way to explore places and learn about different cultures, but this tool can help traveling in the future to evolve. For example, this tool can help tour guides get to know their guests before meeting them in person, helping them to establish a relationship with the participants of a real-life tour ahead of time. 

It’s also a great way for travelers to get a general overview of their destination before they book their trip. Think of it as a trailer to the feature film that will be the actual offline tour, a highlight, a storyboard, a flash of inspiration for what is to come. Of course, the coronavirus made us sorely aware of the travel restrictions faced by those who have issues with health or finances for example. That’s why these kinds of online opportunities can prove their worth way beyond this period of lockdowns and travel bans. 

It may be a long time before we will be able to enjoy travel again. Even then, travel may never be the same again with new regulations that we may be forced to follow. If anything, the travel industry should be ready to embrace what technology has to offer, so that they can give travelers what they want. We’re already working on ways to allow tour guides to use AR/VR technologies to be able to guide tourists from home as they visit different places in real-time with high-quality 360-degree content in VR and the latest AR technology in the mix with 5G delivery. On-demand discovery while in-destination is key to the future of travel. We at 360 Stories try our best to stay one step ahead of the future, presenting the most innovative solutions to even the most challenging problems.