Learn More About Wuhan, China Through the Eyes of a Local on This Virtual Tour (Video)
For many, the Chinese city of Wuhan was unknown just months before it gained international notoriety in the news due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Now, tour company Walks is looking to show curious travelers what life is like in the capital of the Hubei province with the help of a live multimedia presentation.
“Many people in the west are only just learning about the city of Wuhan for the first time, and the depiction has not been fair, nuanced, or nearly as interesting as this ancient place deserves,” Walks CEO Stephen Oddo said in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. “I believe it’s our responsibility as members of the travel community to elevate the voices and faces of those who can provide us with new perspectives, expanding our mindset and preconceptions. That is the heart of what travel is all about.”
The first presentation will be offered on Thursday, April 30, at 7 p.m. ET and will be moderated by Oddo, with two more tours planned.
Oddo’s Wuhan tour is done in partnership with locals and will focus on things like food — think spicy noodles and Tibetan-style barbecue — and panoramic city views. The presentation will run about 40 minutes and viewers will have a chance to ask questions at the end.
The virtual experience for Wuhan comes as the city has started to open up after being on lockdown for more than 70 days, allowing residents to leave their homes with certain restrictions in place.
More than 83,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in China, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracking of the virus, with more than 68,000 of them recorded in the Hubei province.
“The current global situation is a massive challenge, but from day one, Walks was determined to rise to meet it — to find a way to continue to invite our guests to explore the world with us, and to support the guides and destinations that make the travel industry so strong,” Oddo said. “This situation has given us a reason and a means to expand our mission to reach more guests: both would-be travelers who are on lockdown, and those who may not be able to travel for other reasons.”
Each tour costs $10, and includes a $25 credit for an in-person tour with Walks that is valid for two years, according to the company.
Walks currently offers several virtual tours from home, including everything from the highlights of Rome, to the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London. This latest destination, part of his Tours From Home series, aims to help foster an understanding of a place many have become curious about.