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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Virtual travel is just like being there - for now

   One-Tank Trip for April 11/20
   (c) By Jim Fox

   These are tough times for publicists and employees of tourism agencies promoting all the fun times and scenic locations that we hope to sometime visit again.
   Now that most people are confined to their rooms and backyards, tourism promotion has turned virtual to see and hear what we’re missing.
   It’s sort of like today’s answer to having friends over to see slides (usually dozens and dozens of scenery and blurry images) from their trips.
The historic Elora Mill built in 1832 is in a picturesque river-view location.
   These are unprecedented times for day-trips and travel, reflecting a new strategy for public relations agencies such as Enterprise Canada.
   “People feeling cooped up during the current public health emergency can get a virtual taste of some great travel destinations in southwestern Ontario without leaving the safety of their homes,” said Enterprise’s Stephen Murdoch.
   Virtual tours “help people expand horizons during social distancing,” said associate Courtney De Caire.

   “Dozens of attractions and businesses in popular travel spots like Stratford, Elora and Fergus and Guelph have posted Google 360 tours and Virtual Experiences to allow anyone with a computer or mobile device to do some sightseeing,” she added.
A virtual view of Elora Raft Rides is just like being there.
   Travel plans in disarray
   First some statistics: there’s a big impact the virus outbreak is having on long-term travel plans.
   Caddle, called a Canadian mobile marketplace, finds in its daily opinion surveys of 10,000 people that only 33 per cent plan to travel overseas the way they used to.
   It also found that:
   - Almost 90 per cent of Canadians with a vacation planned this summer expect it to be disrupted.
   - Forty per cent agree they will take more vacations within Canada instead of going overseas.
   - Older Canadians will be most reluctant to travel overseas after the pandemic.
   - More than 40 per cent said they will no longer travel overseas the way they used to after the coronavirus threat is over.
   “This data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic could have a profound and long-lasting impact on the way Canadians travel,” said Caddle’s Ransom Hawley.
   “Not only are Canadians writing off their travel plans for summer 2020, but they are starting to re-evaluate the kinds of trips they will take in the future,” he added.

    If you go (whenever):
   Enterprise offers a “few cool places to visit online to expand your horizons when you’re stuck at home or to help plan future day trips when it’s safe to travel again.”
Virtual experiences are offered of the Stratford Festival Costume Warehouse.
    - The Stratford Festival Costume Warehouse is filled with 50,000 costumes, 10,000 pairs of footwear and thousands of accessories and decorative items.
   It offers a behind-the-scenes look into the theatre company and its treasures. stratfordfestival.ca/WatchandExplore/BehindTheScenes
   - Stratford Festival Presents is an opportunity to see the theatre company’s performances on CBC Gem.
    These include King Lear, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and more from recent seasons. gem.cbc.ca
   - The Elora Mil and Spa has a virtual tour inside the recently refurbished 1832 mill, as well as its grounds overlooking the river.
   With a mix of history and natural scenery, Elora is on the banks of the Ravine and Grand rivers and has historic buildings. eloramill.ca
   - Elora Raft Rides shows fun options to soak up the scenery of the Grand River including English gondola rides and rafts to travel over 36 gentle rapids and mini-waterfalls, under four bridges, navigate around islands, explore ruins and discover ancient fossils. eloraraftrides.com
   - Wellington County Museum and Archives are housed in the former House of Industry and Refuge built in 1877 in a scenic location. wellington.ca/en/museum-and-archives.aspx


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca 

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