TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Tech-based tourism company, Atourin, is holding virtual tours of a number of Indonesian tourist destinations, allowing for the public to experience travelling from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thus far, Atourin has facilitated virtual tours to Natuna, the Riau Islands, on Saturday, April 28, 2020, and Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, on Friday, May 8, 2020.
In addition, Atourin plans to hold the next virtual tour of Nglanggeran Tourism Village, Yogyakarta, on Saturday, May 16, 2020. "They (the tour guides) can still do their work virtually," Atourin's Co-Founder Benarivo Triadi Putra told TEMPO on Sunday. May 10, 2020.
After the first two virtual tours, Benarivo noted an increase in public interest, as the Natuna tour was enjoyed by 48 participants, while the Sumba virtual tour was enjoyed by 131 participants, revealed Benarivo.
With the help of certified tour guides that have participated in virtual tour training, the virtual tours will display the natural landscape of the destination through the participant’s phone or computer screen.
During the Natuna virtual tour, tour guide and local resident Arief panned away from the ocean view to reveal the rolling hills of Mount Ranai. "We are now in Batu Datar, where we can see the view of Ranai and the sea, the beach that surrounds Natuna," said Arief during the virtual tour, on Saturday, May 2.
On the other hand, during the Sumba virtual tour, participants enjoyed the natural sights of Lake Weekuri in Southwest Sumba. "Lake Weekuri is our first tourist attraction. This is a lagoon, with its waters connected to the beach," said Chief of Tebara Village and virtual tour guide, Marthen Bira, on Friday, May 8.
In addition to Lake Weekuri, participants of the virtual tour were also shown the Ratenggaro Traditional Village. “Although it may be uncommon for those who have never been to Sumba, there are megalithic stone graves in front of the houses (in Ratenggaro Traditional Village),” Marthen revealed.
People looking to travel from home can enjoy Atourin’s virtual tour at the cost of Rp50,000 for two participants, or at Rp100,000 for five participants.
BRAM SETIAWAN | DIO SUHENDA (INTERN TRANSLATOR)