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The New Normal to meet the Wanderlust of People: PHD Chamber

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought everyone’s travel plan to a standstill. This has been hard not only on the travellers who have seen their plans disrupted, but has also caused financial hardship to the millions of tour guides and other service providers around the world.

With this in mind, tourHQ has introduced an innovative concept of ‘tourHQ Online Experiences’ that can be enjoyed online from the comfort and safety of one’s home. These experiences allow clients to feel the buzz of travelling while at the same time, providing those guides with much-needed sources of income.

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with tourHQ organized a Live, Interactive and Immersive e-Meet on Online Tour Experiences followed by a Live Tour of Venice which was witnessed by more than 185 participants from all over the country.

Dr. D K Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in his presidential remarks mentioned that with the travel restrictions being imposed all around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many destinations have resorted to online tours. From using 360 degree panoramic views to holding online sessions, it helps the viewers to enjoy the beautiful locations digitally and experience the joy of travelling from the comfort of their homes.

He further mentioned that Technology would be a major game-changer in the coming days and Virtual Tours will become the ‘New Normal’ to meet the wanderlust of people. The basic idea of it is that people get to consume visual content of a destination before visiting it

Radha Bhatia, Chairperson – Tourism Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, mentioned that we may all be temporarily grounded, but thanks to the miracles of the internet and technology, we can tour this beautiful city of Venice today with the added bonus of not having to deal with lines and fellow tourists.

Sharing more details about the online experiences,Gaurav Kumar, Founder,, said that the concept is to have the traveller virtually travel with personalized, live attention from the host. The highlight here is that most of the tours are not virtual tours, but real experiences via zoom call where the guides actually go out and do the tour in real time. These online experiences will be able to provide these guides with a viable source of income whilst in lockdown and even in the future.

Valerio, Guide, hosted the Live Tour of Venice by walking through the city with his camera and live streaming the experience over a zoom call. He gave a glimpse of the day to day Venetian life, gondola, 14th-century Church with a unique Venetian architecture. The tour ended in the most scenic point of view in Venice, overlooking Doge’s Palace & St. Marks’ square, Canal Grande, San Giorgio and Giudecca Islands.

Rajan Sehgal, Co-Chairman – Tourism Committee, PHDCCI said that as travel restrictions and social distancing continue to be enforced and travellers being confined to their respective homes, demand for online tours will rise. He further said that virtual travelling is a good way to connect with the world and people can visualize content of a destination before visiting it.

Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry proposed the formal vote of thanks and said that PHD Chamber will continue to organize more such virtual tours with offbeat destinations for the benefits of the members.

Dr. Jatinder Singh, Director, PHDCCI moderated the session.

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