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Experience Melbourne From Your Couch Through These Remote Control Tourists

RemoteControlTourist.com, a crowdsourced live streaming travel guide for Tourism Victoria, allows anyone to use social media to control the activities of explorers on the ground.

Thinking of visiting Melbourne? You can explore the Australian city from the comfort of your couch via four urban explorers whose activities will be directed by Facebook and Twitter users and shared via live streams at RemoteControlTourist.com for eight hours a day from October 9-13.

That said, Tourism Victoria would, of course, prefer that you actually do get up from your couch and visit Melbourne in person after you get a taste of all that the city has to offer through this virtual experience orchestrated by Clemenger BBDO, Tool director Jason Zada and Exit Films. "It’s a bit of a game, a bit of a travel show and a lot of exploring," Zada says. "Everything is centered around the idea of ‘Go before you go.’ You can experience any part of the city, instantly, from anywhere in the world. You can virtually ‘try out’ Melbourne before booking a trip."

To give strangers to Melbourne a sense of where to even begin, RemoteControlTourist.com hosts a large map of the city—known as the cultural capital of Australia, though Sydney also claims that title—highlighting over 500 locations that might interest out-of-towners. Facebook and Twitter users who register can then instruct the explorers, who are all wearing helmets outfitted with streaming cameras, where to go and what to do. "Imagine being able to explore any store, any restaurant, any park, any building, any view you request," Zada says. "If we are at a restaurant, and you want us to order a dish so you can see it, the remote control tourist will do it. If you want a picture of that dish posted to Instagram, we will do it."

It’s going to be five long days of non-stop activity for the remote control tourists hired to dart around the city. "We went through a very extensive casting process in order to find four people that had the personality and the stamina to pull this off," Zada says, acknowledging, "It is quite a challenge to walk, bike, train, and cab an entire city in five days."

What’s great about the project, according to Zada, is that it not only provides a live, in-depth trek through Melbourne, it also leaves Tourism Victoria with crowdsourced content that will live on. "At the end of the campaign, we will have an extensive visual guide to the best of Melbourne," Zada says. "Hundreds of photos, videos, and data will come to life and give anyone who is thinking of visiting or is currently visiting Melbourne the coolest and most interesting way to research and explore the city."

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