Japan National Tourism Organization
While would-be travelers around the world are self-isolating and putting travel plans on hold, Japan Nation Tourism Organization sends the fun home. While everyone’s wanderlust grows, JNTO offers virtual experiences showcasing the best of the island country.
With a new 360-degree virtual reality movie experience, Japan is on full display in the film Where Tradition Meets Future. The virtual experience transports visitors across the world to the stunning, most-desired regions of Japan, including breathtaking bamboo forests, sculptures of Naoshima, Geisha performances, sushi making, sumo wrestling and even a live feed of Tokyo’s world-famous Shibuya Crossing — perfect timing, with the Olympics officially postponed until 2021.
Speaking of animals, nature lovers will also enjoy live-streaming videos of Nihondaira Zoo, including guest appearances from local polar bear celebrities, Rossy and Vanilla — virtual visiting hours for this experience are 7 p.m.– 4 a.m. EST.
More virtual experiences in Hokkaido, where the adventurous snow bunnies of Niseko Village are on full display riding the slopes — this lets would-be travelers watch the freshly powdered trails from the comfort of their self-isolation.
Over in Hyogo Park in Toyooka City, wishful travelers can watch the resident Oriental white storks during hatching season — which lasts until April. Most recently hatched eggs can still be viewed from the visual experience as they grow into fledglings. Viewers can watch over Shizuoka Prefecture, explore Shizuoka and check out the port town of Mochimune.
The virtual tour also shares hanami with travelers, the ancient, beloved traditional celebration of admiring flower blossoms — easily done from afar.
With a number of 360-degree virtual reality videos available, guests can choose their own experiences from Ueno Park in Tokyo, to Miharu Falls in Fukushima and its waterfall cherry tree, to Hirosaki Park’s stunning views and local castle.
The Windy City of Chicago is well known for its iconic sights, sounds and soul. While the travel world is on pause, the city’s tourism board, Choose Chicago, invites travelers to experience the city with a virtual tour. Explore Chicago’s many attractions, museums and even cuisine, with at-home recipes from local chefs.
Bring Chicago home with you with these experiences:
Check out Chicago’s museums and attractions, including Adler Planetarium, The Art Institute of Chicago, DuSable Museum of African American History, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago History Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, Oriental Institute Museum and IIT Institute of Design.
See the city’s architectural wonders, including the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures in the world. Virtually visit UNESCO World Heritage sites Oak Park’s Unity Temple, Hyde Park’s Frederick C. Robie House and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio.
As far as museums are concerned, Chicago has more than its fair share. Virtually visit the Art Institute of Chicago, beginning with the museum’s essential works — check out the digital collection and explore more ways to visit virtually.
For the literary nerds, check out The The Newberry Library’s extensive collection of non-circulating rare books, maps, music, manuscripts and more. Check out the printed materials from a distance, housed in Chicago’s independent research library since 1887.
Animal lovers, don’t worry, there’s a virtual experience (or three) for you, too. Virtually explore Brookfield Zoo, home to more than 2,000 animals, closed to the public through April 30. Guests can virtually visit the 216-acre landscape from afar, via Facebook broadcasts.
For those with postponed or canceled spring break plans in Nashville, you can still enjoy the flavors, sounds and sense of community of Nashville, Music City, from home.
In true Nashville fashion, music plays a major role in all virtual fun. One impromptu setup heeding the call, Gratitunes shares an epic playlist with Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s staff and streams directly to clinics, filled with those at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis, including patients, with special musical contributions from the likes of Amy Grant, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley and Dustin Lynch, among many others. Each artist dedicated a special song on their respective social media channels in support and appreciation of all those combating COVID-19. Virtual visitors can add their own musical picks as a small way to contribute.
A constant support and advocate for the city, hometown hero and living legend Dolly Parton launched a weekly YouTube series, Goodnight with Dolly, when she reads a children’s book from her Imagination Library project. According to Dolly, the 10-week series offers kids and parents “a welcome distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books.”
The Grand Ole Opry live streams events each Saturday night, and award-winning documentaries are online for viewing — It All Begins With A Song: The Story of the Nashville Songwriter and For The Love of Music: The Story of Nashville.
One of Barcelona’s newest luxury hotels is located at the corner of modernity and tradition. As the name indicates, The Corner Hotel is situated on a flat corner in Barcelona’s L’Eixample neighborhood, a vast area of the city full of Modernist buildings and grid-like avenues.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
LATAM Airlines Group S.A. and its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the United States initiated a reorganization and restricting of debt under Chapter 11 protection in the United States, in light of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The reorganization provides LATAM the ability to reduce debt, access new sources of financing and continue operations.
Parma, Italy, was set to take center stage in 2020 as the Italian Capital of Culture, but COVID-19 interrupted those plans. Last week, the Italian government announced that, as a result of the global pandemic, Parma’s designation will continue through 2021.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
A first of its kind in the region, The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi launched a safe and clean certification program. The program seeks to uplift and standardize cleanliness and hygiene levels across all businesses and organizations in the tourism sector, including hotels, malls and other attractions. DCT Abu Dhabi will offer certifications that ensure compliance of standardized hygiene levels, and the program will roll out in phases, with the first dedicated to hotels.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced a collaboration with John Hopkins Medicine International on its Lead With Care global health and safety program. John Hopkins Medicine experts will review and validate the Lead With Care program, which will then be implemented at Four Seasons properties around the world.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
Saint Lucia announced a phased plan to reopen island tourism responsibly, beginning June 4. Phase One includes welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport from the United States only. In preparation, 1,500 hotel rooms are being prepared to open. The approach to reopening continues through July 31.