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Can We Stop for a Snack Now? Melbourne Offers “Remote Control Tourists”

Google Maps gives travelers a birds-eye or street view of a location—but now, one tourist board Down Under is offering a live, hipster's-eye view of its city, as a way to entice travelers to plan a trip.

Tourism Victoria last month launched a “go before you go” promotion as part of its Play Melbourne campaign, inviting Facebook or Twitter users to virtually explore the city using “remote control tourists.” You could tell these virtual travelers where to go and what to do around the city, whether that's trying on a sweater in a boutique or checking out a live band.

While “remote control tourist” may sound like some sort of cyborg with a fanny pack, it turns out that it is actually two people—one woman, and one bearded guy—riding bicycles and wearing helmets rigged with video cameras. We checked out a highlight reel and maps and saw that the hipsters-on-wheels enjoyed some street music, drank some artfully-topped latte, and visited a taxidermy-stocked, “scientific curiosity” shop called Wunderkammer.

While the initiative is now over, you can still check out the videos. We didn’t find any “rules” on the website, but presumably it wasn't cool to ask the remote control tourists to do anything illegal or uncouth—say, to order drinks for the whole bar, or try to spend the night on a hotel lobby couch.

Photo courtesy of Melbourne Remote Control Tourist

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