People can now explore the Island’s National Glens from the comfort of their homes, thanks to a new immersive virtual experience launched at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show.
The Isle of Man Biosphere has 18 mountain and coastal National Glens. However, the rugged terrain can be a barrier for those with disabilities or impairments to fully enjoy the Island’s natural wonders.
Now, a collaboration between the Isle of Man Government and local video production company IOM360 allows visitors to embark on a virtual journey through the picturesque glens, giving everyone the opportunity to fully experience the unique flora and fauna the Island has to offer.
Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, Clare Barber MHK, said: ‘This initiative opens up a world of possibilities for individuals with illnesses or disabilities, who may find it challenging to visit these beautiful locations in person. With virtual Street View technology, users can explore the National Glens, taking in enchanting landscapes and experiencing nature's wonders, all at their own pace.
‘We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the Isle of Man glens without accessibility barriers. The glens not only serve as picturesque escapes but also play a vital role in enhancing Island health and wellbeing by providing accessible spaces for relaxation, rejuvenation, and connection with nature.’
CEO of Visit Isle of Man, Deborah Heather, said: ‘We are thrilled to showcase our stunning glens as a captivating tourist attraction. By offering this immersive experience, we not only inspire wanderlust among potential visitors but also bolster the visibility and accessibility of local businesses in the area.
‘Together, we aim to create a flourishing and inclusive environment that celebrates the beauty of our Island and supports the growth of our community.’
Beth Martin, Director of Disability Networks, a Manx charity connecting people with vital disability information, welcomed the arrival of the virtual tours. She said: ‘This will inform people of what to expect before visiting these gems. They will give pleasure to those who, for whatever reason, are unable to access them. They will also be useful to encourage potential tourists to visit our beautiful Island.
‘We applaud DEFA and IOM360 for initiating and completing this project. The virtual tours are a simple but brilliant addition to the information available about the glens.’
You can embark on a virtual adventure through the glens today via this link to the Isle of Man Government website
Main photo: Ballaglass Glen, Department of Enterprise.