Renowned St Lucian Photographer Kirk Elliott has just launched a free Virtual St Lucia Photo Tour Mini Series. The offer is Elliott’s way of placing Saint Lucia front and center in the sights of would be vacationers who find themselves unable to travel due to COVID-19.
The free mini photo tour is a celebration of Elliott’s milestone achievement of transitioning from an excursion that can only be experienced in Saint Lucia, to one that can now be enjoyed by anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world with just an internet connection. When asked what’s with a free virtual tour Elliott explained: “While I had to cancel and refund every single photo tour that was on my books, I was truly touched by the pain clients expressed at having to cancel. And I was blown away by the promises I received from clients that they would either join me for their photo tour whenever they are eventually able to visit, or for me to sign them up should I create an online photo tour.”
An Escape for Millions Stuck at Home Due to COVID-19
With millions of persons stuck at home and uncertain about when they will travel internationally, Elliott wanted to reciprocate the goodwill of his clients who showed so much care. This was when the idea hit him that what better way to do so than by offering a free online photo tour that not only teaches some of his best photography lessons, but also showcases never before seen Saint Lucia images that are simply stunning, based on early reviews coming in. Elliott plans to showcase photographs of everyday Saint Lucia shot with his smartphone, with a drone, as well as with professional cameras. In doing so he will illustrate how easy it is to create amazing photography by applying some simple techniques that are the same regardless of the camera in use. But more importantly Elliott says, “This FREE Virtual Mini Photo Tour is really about sharing the best of Saint Lucia with a world that needs a real feel good now more than ever before.” While Elliott plans to eventually introduce a paid virtual version of his multiple award-winning St Lucia Photo Tour, he also plans to permanently feature the free version. Elliott will also invite viewers to name the places they’d love to see so he can go out and shoot those pictures and then share them for the viewing pleasure of all who sign up.
COVID-19 Spotlights Need for Sustainable Tourism
With COVID-19 irreversibly disrupting tourism, Elliott believes the pandemic has given the world a moment of pause and reflection on the need for sustainable development in general and sustainable tourism specifically. With this in mind, Elliott believes that virtual travel experiences are likely to become part of the new tourism normal. He sees these experiences serving an important role in both promoting destinations as well as helping travellers connect with those destinations in deeper and more meaningful ways than ever before. “If visitors can’t come to Saint Lucia right now, why don’t we bring Saint Lucia to them?” Elliott muses, and he looks forward to seeing many of the non-accommodation businesses of Saint Lucia also developing virtual versions of their excursions so that visitors can enjoy the best of Saint Lucia while waiting to travel once more.