Interactive, online tourism. A new direction for accessible tours?

Like many others working in tourism, I’ve suddenly found myself without a job.

As a tour guide, my niche was private guided tours of nature and wildlife in Sydney, Australia.

Then Covid came along.

Everything changed, and tourism as we knew it, was no longer.

I’d heard about online interactive tours and was mildly interested in the concept for a few months. Although I have a background in video production, I admit I was very hesitant to spend another career slogging away behind a computer.

I’ve discovered that these tours are anything but boring! They are an immersive experience for users at both ends of the camera. There’s plenty of laughs are had and… many friendships are made.

The online tour I’ve developed, is a hike through Sydney’s hidden and stunning natural environment. Together, my guests and I look for mysterious carvings and find majestic, sculptured cliffs hidden in the national park. There are no people where we go, just plants and animals in a beautiful and dramatic landscape.

One of my first bookings was a class of students with restricted mobility in New York. I believe they experienced what they may never have had the opportunity to do before.

It was possibly one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences in my career.

We visited places difficult for most people to travel to, yet the students experienced these places as though they were almost there.

Beyond entertainment, online tours can be both educational and liberating.

The experience is 100% online. I now connect with groups anywhere in the world via a live streamed video chat. All that is needed is a computer or mobile phone, good internet connection, and be ready to enjoy the tour in a comfy setting.

If you’re interested, have a look at my website: http://sydneyguidedtours.com

I’m now “pivoting” my focus onto accessible tourism. It seems like there’s whole new worlds of opportunities opening up for everyone involved.

I’d love to chat to others who are interested in this concept. Happy to help others with their tours too.

Thanks, Matt

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