AUSTIN, Texas - A local tour group is adapting to the current stay-at-home order.
While people in the Austin area are prohibited from gathering in groups of 10 or more, Austin Ghost Tours is looking to gather and give tours online instead. “It has opened up our eyes to a whole other possibility,” said Monica Ballard, a guide with the tour group.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Austin area and the stay home order was put in place, Ballard said initially their operations to tell Austin’s haunted history were put on hold. That is until they realized there was still a way to give tours.
“We have photos, we have pictures of the locations we can give virtual tours so we started doing one per week then two per week and now we are up to three times a week giving a virtual tour," Ballard said.
Instead of meeting in person and walking people through the downtown area to tell their stories, they now do the whole tour on Zoom. For one hour, they show pictures, talk, and answer questions. “We have another tour guide who monitors the chat and answers questions as people comment or have questions along the way,” said Ballard.
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So far they are seeing about 30 people in these virtual tours. To get an invitation to the zoom meeting you have to buy a ticket on their website. Ballard said because the tours are online they are getting people from across the globe.
Ballard said because of the positive feedback, this new virtual option may even stick around after the stay at home order is lifted.
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