MORE than 50 former Heygo virtual guides have banded together on a new tour hub to carry on streamed travel for armchair tourists left stranded by the collapse of the platform.
Since the closure of Heygo earlier this month, York tour guide John Wright, founder of All Points North, has spearheaded efforts to resume business as usual, attracting the support of many of the most popular guides.
The new Live Virtually hub acts as a central information point for the growing number of guides offering their own individual tours on a plethora of platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Zoom.
A calendar painstakingly put together by European guide Kelsey Betzelberger, whose tours have recently included destinations in Spain, France, Switzerland and Austria, now covers trips by many former Heygo guides.
Open the calendar and you can view trips on offer by day, week, month or year, handily listed in your local time zone, with each entry including a brief description and links for booking, tipping or buying.
The monthly view
Guides are currently building their YouTube channel subscription bases to hit the crucial 1,000-subscriber mark, triggering the option to add live stream tours to filmed forays on the global platform.
Read more: Guides to continue live streamed tours after Heygo collapse
Tours and talks by former Heygo guides are already in action across a range of other platforms, however, typically accessed for a small fee, through various booking sites such as Eventbrite.
Tour description and links
To use the new hub’s calendar, you’ll need to have a Google account, which is free. Once you log in to your own calendar, you can add the guides’ calendar named email@example.com.
Kelsey has put together an excellent short video tutorial for virtual travellers unfamiliar with Google Mail, which you can see below. The calendar is best viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.
John Wright says: “We now have almost 50 guides listing tours, with more joining each week. We are so pleased to have got to where we are in such a short time.
“We aren’t as slick and polished as we want to be just yet, but stay with us. We know that lots of our favourite guides aren’t involved yet. That’s going to change.
“This is by guides, for guides, and, most importantly, for you.”
Meanwhile, a new Facebook community linked to the collective, Live Virtually – Travel The World, has already attracted 4,200 members in just a couple of weeks, and is steadily growing.
Read more: Founder’s sorrow at collapse of travel streamer Heygo
Wright adds: “We now have over 4,000 members and we need to establish some ground rules to ensure everyone has a great experience, everyone feels valued and that we show compassion and understanding to each other during this transition.
“Thank you for being amazing, together we can build the future. Heygo is going – Live Goes On.”
The Facebook landing page
The Live Virtually – See The World Facebook group, where you can see updates from dozens of guides, chat with fellow travellers, share pictures, and find links to the new hub calendar and guide contact details, can be accessed here.
The new guides collective has been welcomed by former Heygo founder John Tertan too. In a farewell message he told users of the defunct platform: “A special shout out goes to the guides who were a cornerstone of our community.
“A few of them will continue to run tours on Facebook or Youtube and you can follow their journey: Follow their journey.”
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