Tourism sector in China goes digital due to coronavirus global pandemic

 Friday, April 24, 2020 


The tourism sector in China is seeking some of the long-term development to offset losses brought by the COVID-19 epidemic, with smarter infrastructure and live broadcast provided by many scenic spots.



The statistics show that consumers who used to be price-sensitive are shifting to focus more on safety, making travel safety a priority when they pick desired destinations.



One of the Chinese online travel agency, the flight bookings on the platform for business class and first-class cabins, which enjoy lower passenger density, increased 46 percent from February, over 10 percent higher than that of the economy class. The hotel data released by Qunar reflects a similar trend. Consumption of star hotels with quality service and higher safety standards has picked up remarkably since March.



The number of people staying at four-star hotels or above in March was over two times the number in February after businesses gradually resumed. First-tier cities like Shenzhen and Guangzhou saw a faster growth in terms of the number of guests at star hotels than that of budget hotels in March.




The concept of consumption, travel experience and consumption frequency will be different from what they used to be before the outbreak of COVID-19, said Ma Yong, a tourism and hospitality expert with the Hubei University.



The tourists will give more priority to ‘fitness’ and ‘individualistic, adding that self-driving tours, overseas study tours, and family tours are expected to rise by leaps and bounds, and the frequency of customized leisure tours will also go up.


The services in scenic spots are also provided in a more intelligent way to improve travel experience and prevent the epidemic.




On April 13, nationwide tourist attractions were required to complete their booking systems to avoid crowd gathering during rush hours. Travel agencies and scenic areas were urged to adopt smarter management measures.




China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip launched online booking access earlier this month to support real-name ticket reservations, monitor tourist flows and take care of after-sales service. The urgent need for scenic spots across the country to go intelligent and allow online booking. Ctrip will take advantage of its sophisticated service system to jointly build “smart tourist attractions” with interested partners, Yu said.



The digitalisation, together with capital, knowledge, innovation and other factors, is activating traditional culture and tourism resources, which forms new engines of the industry, said Dai Bin, head of the China Tourism Academy.


In recent months, a large number of tourist sites started to respond to the latest live-streaming craze by allowing eager tourists trapped at home to turn to online guided tours to catch a glimpse of the early spring.

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