SAN ANTONIO — There is a whole new way to experience the Alamo.
"A Story Bigger Than Texas: Virtual Alamo Tours" begin Monday. For $10, guests will be taken on a personal tour over Zoom, complete with a tour guide answering their questions in real-time.
“What we wanted to do is make this content available for people in spite of the circumstances that everyone’s in right now,” Learning Programs Manager Katie Dillard said. “We’ve done quite a few practice runs, have been able to use the chat to ask people where they’re from and if they have any questions about the Alamo.”
After the novel coronavirus shut down the Texas landmark back in March, staff started working on a way to continue bringing its story to people in quarantine.
“It took us a little while to get used to this new format, but I believe that it’s going to have a good run,” Dillard said.
The grounds have opened back up since March, but the church remains closed, except for the virtual tour.
Alamo CEO Douglass McDonald said it’s important to give people at higher risk the chance to explore the Alamo safely.
"Our team has designed this virtual tour to be as interactive as possible,” McDonald said. “We are excited to be able to engage again with visitors who are unable to make it out to the site due to the pandemic."
Dillard said there are more advantages to holding virtual tours than maintaining social distancing. These tours will be accessible to people all around the world that may not be able to travel to Texas in person.
“We have people from all over the world visiting the Alamo, and so that’ll make that connection a lot more simpler for them,” Dillard said. “We’re basically reaching out instead of waiting for people to come to us.”
She said that if the virtual tour performs well, they plan on keeping the option beyond the pandemic, making the Alamo available to the world like never before.
“The story of the Alamo is bigger than Texas, and so we want to make that story reach those people outside Texas as well,” she said.
Tickets for a virtual Alamo tour can be purchased at theAlamo.org for $10. Starting Monday, tours will be conducted at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily.