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Guizhou goes online for tourism promotion

By Zhao Kai in Guiyang and Su Zhou in Beijing ( China Daily )

Updated: 2014-08-19

Guizhou, a less developed province in Southwest China, is using Internet technology to promote its scenic spots and attract visitors.

The province boasts rich tourism resources, but lacks promotion and good design of tourism products, said Li Fang, director of the information center at the province's tourism administration.

"But a late start will give us chances to learn from others and develop our own model."

 Guizhou goes online for tourism promotion

A tourist from the Philippines (middle), wearing traditional costumes of China's Miao ethnic group, joins in the locals dancing in Shibing county, Guizhou province. Zhu Xingxin / China Daily

The province's tourism administration will collect information through access cards, closed-circuit television and mobile phones from 100 tourism sites in the province and analyze tourists' information at big data centers.

Tourism products will also be designed based on tourists' preferences, Li said.

Information will be released through social media to assist tourists, such as recommending tour routes, shopping discounts and giving the number of tourists in certain areas, Li added.

Regions, especially remote ones where tourism is the pillar industry, need the assistance of Internet technology and big data application to get to know the industry, develop products and improve service, said Cai Jiacheng, director of the information center of China National Tourism Administration.

"It is very important for western regions of China, where we have profound tourism resources but not enough infrastructure," said Cai.

Chen Gang, the city's Party chief, said in March that "the lack of information properly displayed at Guiyang's tourism attractions slowed the development down".

"With big data and the smart travel plans we are currently working on, travelers will be able to find everything they need online, which will boost both the province and Guiyang's tourism industry," Chen said.

Liu Lijun, a manager at search engine Baidu, said Guizhou should use big data to raise the reputation of its tourism sites.

Liu said statistics from Baidu show that Huangguoshu Waterfall was the only Guizhou site ranking among the top 100 popular tourism sites in China. "Guizhou has nature resources but most of them need promotion and development," said Liu.

"More than 50 percent of tourists will search for tourism information on their mobile phone during their trip," said Liu.

"But for Guizhou province, some information cannot be found online. I suggest more information should be provided to tourists through social media such as weather, traffic, visitor numbers at certain tourism sites and other information that young tourists will be interested in," added Liu.

Contact the writers at zhaokai@chinadaily.com.cn and suzhou@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 08/19/2014 page4)

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