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Virtual travel business enjoys boom in Taiwan amid COVID restrictions

Paris, Tokyo among most popular destinations for people itching to travel overseas

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Virtual tour in Paris (Screenshot, Klook website)

Virtual tour in Paris (Screenshot, Klook website)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has seen a surge of interest in online travel since the country's COVID-19 alert was raised to Level 3 in mid-May.

As many borders are still closed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, people yearning for travel have turned to virtual tours. The trend has picked up in Taiwan, which previously saw high demand for domestic travel before shuttering many tourist attractions amid an outbreak of local infections.

Partnering with MyProGuide, a platform providing licensed tour guide services, Hong Kong online travel agency Klook has launched 20 virtual itineraries. The service in Taiwan saw a fivefold rise in website visits after COVID cases surged last month, reported CNA.

According to Klook, livestreamed tours led by real guides have been the most sought-after from its wide selection of curated tours. The top five destinations for Taiwanese are Paris, Omotesando area in Tokyo, Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, and a worship visit to The Erawan Shrine in Bangkok.

Prices for the virtual tours range from US$10 to US$20. For US$20.30, travelers can embark on an online trip to the metropolis of Paris, where they experience the vibrant atmosphere of the famed European city and learn about its history, culture, and architecture.

The Level 3 restrictions will not be lifted at least until June 28, as Taiwan scrambles to inoculate its population against COVID. EU lifted non-essential travel restrictions for travelers from Taiwan on Wednesday (June 16).

Virtual travel business enjoys boom in Taiwan amid COVID restrictions

Virtual travel business enjoys boom in Taiwan amid COVID restrictions

(Klook website screenshots)