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Tour From Home to fight Coronavirus

Updated: Apr 25

Project Title: ท่องเที่ยวจำลอง: Tour From Home 2020

Condition: Completed

Date: 04/2020







/ Challenged by the recent COVID-19 problems in Thailand, the project "Thai Citizens Against Crisis: Citizen Resilience Project" funded by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, supporting sub-projects named “TourFromHome2020”.


TourFromHome2020 was one of 57 projects selected from a total of 565 proposals. All of the projects had been proposed to help support various victims of the COVID-19 situation. One of the groups that heavily suffered was the tour guide group. Why?







/ Thailand has some of the highest numbers of tourists in the Asia region with over 30 million visitors in recent years. However, the 2020 pandemic had reduced the tourist rate by more than 90%, which resulted in more than 30,000 guides unemployed nationwide and increasing. Ultimately led to a huge suffering in the economy.







The lockdown had led people in many different fields of career to lose their jobs or must stay at home and work from there, changing the course of their lives for the time being. Many were struggling to get through the pandemic finding a way to compensate for their past income. As a result, tourist guides in Thailand were forced to take a “leave without pay” because of the major hit in the market.




(Thai guide facebook page expressed their sorrows on the situation)

Moreover, the guides could not get any major jobs because of a law restriction that forbids any tourist guide to work independently without a touring company as a middle man. Along with this, guaranteed a 3-6 months period without work; therefore, needing to beg the government to issue urgent remedies. /





/ Therefore, we decided to approach this challenge through the new normal of well-being. Our team, consisting of architectural designers and creative technologists, came up with an idea to incorporate a “Virtual Tour” media. We researched the availability of 3D data and photo-realistic digital models on tourism landmarks and incorporated them to a new WebAR platform and on the Facebook page as a countermeasure to assist in reviving the industry during this difficult time.


Our goal was to let Thai guides who were familiar with these heritage landmarks around Thailand, retaining their historical and architectural value, to come out to share their knowledge and story with people who were also stuck at home to experience.





With the objective set in mind, we reached out to many organizations involving the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Department of Tourism, and Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand to account for the plans. The team was inquired about the situation together with an open call for Thai guides who would be interested in joining us.


Consequently, the team demonstrated digital LIVE tour events in collaboration with Thai guides who had signed up. Each LIVE format had the host commentating with a guide about interesting facts and history about the landmarks while interacting with viewers at home by sharing their personal stories through each guide's narrative experiences.


The event was shaped as a stage to help with tourism exposure, enabling individual guides to continue to perform in front of LIVE audiences during the pandemic. The guides were encouraged to express their styles and characters to attract visitors, leading to donations and potential job offers while working from home.




( Wat Phra Si Sanphet with guide Podit Kanateerakul )


( Wat Benchamabophit with guide Chulapassorn Panomvan Na Ayudhya )

Furthermore, the LIVE tour videos were arranged and broadcasted on Facebook every week. Currently, there are 7 episodes in total, consisting of landmarks like Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya, Wat Benchamabophit in Bangkok, and an outbound tour of San Sebastian Basilica in Philippines. All episodes are available for playback on the TourFromHome Facebook page.


The broadcast activity permitted the guide's profile to be displayed to the public, accessible for donations from viewers at home who are willing to support any person they like. /




Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Ayutthaya, Thailand




Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok, Thailand




San Sebastian Basilica exterior, Manila, Philippines




San Sebastian Basilica interior, Manila, Philippines




The virtual reality tour was conducted successfully by the talented associate of Thai guides and the magnificent 3D photogrammetry data, which had been sponsored by international sources including teams from Cyark, Sketchfab, and Nova Research.


There were many advantages when comparing virtual reality tours to real ones. By utilizing the benefits of the 3D model, users could experience a new glance at these landmarks from a whole new perspective with ease. Not only a bird's-eye view to inspect the architectural plan from a high altitude but also able to visit many prohibited spots on physical places where tourists wouldn't normally be allowed to go to due to privacy and safety reasons.


The 3D tourism landmarks could be explored on our website www.tourfromhome.org All of the non-commercial materials were available for self-service LIVE and for education purposes.


We hope that the project will be a good learning tool for students of all sorts of interests to enjoy together with a mission to help grow Thai citizens appreciation toward Thai tourism for many years to come. /




( Wat Phra Si Sanphet early site visit )


Tour From Home project was promoted on several news report. Special Thanks to


Daily News



Thai PBS



Nation TV




All of the LIVE tour episodes are available on our Facebook page


Wat Phra Si Sanphet Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=933123653804380

Wat Phra Si Sanphet Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2317274345242800

Wat Phra Si Sanphet Part 3: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=598925364076216


Wat Benchamabophit Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=570099047214361

Wat Benchamabophit Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=868845606972156


San Sebastian Basilica Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=325037218514098

San Sebastian Basilica Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=287982008958797




Credits:

In collaboration with Abbok Design




Abbok design studio is an architecture company based in Bangkok. They are an expert in interior design that brings technology applications into reality in the form of VR & AR. They believe in providing better solutions through tech and creativity to reach the best possible service needs. Check out their delicate work at https://www.abbok.net




The project was also published on:


Thai PBS:

https://program.thaipbs.or.th/WanmaiThaiPBS/episodes/70195

Nation TV:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rB6q7960kY

Techsauce:

https://techsauce.co/pr-news/simulation-travel

Naewna:

https://www.naewna.com/local/502339





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