In­ter­net woos prospec­tive tourists

About 100 ‘vet­er­ans’ are made tourism celebri­ties in a tourism video al­liance of China CYTS Tours Hold­ing Co and yixia.com, a pop­u­lar video live-stream­ing plat­form op­er­a­tor

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TRAVEL - By YANG FEIYUE yangfeiyue@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Lin Tingt­ing’s gets to travel free and also gets paid in ex­change for shar­ing her travel ex­pe­ri­ence and tips with her fans. Now, her Weibo mi­croblog ac­count (Abby45) has more than 150,000 fol­low­ers and her in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity in tourism cir­cles has earned her a con­tract with Miaopai, a Vine-like short video shar­ing app, where she has more than 210,000 fans.

Born in the 1980s in Fu­jian prov­ince’s Xi­a­men, Lin started out in the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try, but her love of travel spurred her to share her pho­tos on Poco.cn, one of the most pop­u­lar photo shar­ing sites in China.

“I wanted to com­mu­ni­cate through the plat­form and learn pho­tog­ra­phy,” she says.

To her sur­prise, she soon had more than 1,000 fans and re­ceived lots of re­sponse, which en­cour­aged her to keep tak­ing pho­tos dur­ing her trips.

Later, she en­tered a trav­el­ogue com­pe­ti­tion, where her words and pho­tos won her an op­por­tu­nity to travel to Thai­land for free.

Her posts about her ex­pe­ri­ences such as a night visit to a zoo then en­deared her to many fol­low­ers.

“Shar­ing pic­tures and sto­ries about beau­ti­ful scenery, cul­ture, food, espe­cially some small cor­ner which most peo­ple may not see is among the charms of a trip,” says Lin.

Lin con­sid­ers her job as help­ing peo­ple to learn about a place in a

Shar­ing pic­tures and sto­ries about beau­ti­ful scenery, cul­ture, food ... is among the charms of a trip.” Lin Tingt­ing, travel blog­ger

more vivid and well rounded way, and not al­ways be­ing fun and games.

“I al­ways have to plan ahead be­fore any ar­ranged trips, like car­ry­ing a sin­gle-lens re­flex cam­era, var­i­ous lenses and an un­manned ae­rial ve­hi­cle to places such as tall moun­tains, and choose the best pos­si­ble sites to take pic­tures or make videos.”

“When I’m back, I write the trav­el­ogues and edit the pho­tos and videos.”

She im­proved her video skills when she was cho­sen to do live broad­casts of the Lon­don Olympics in 2012.

“I then learned how to in­ter­act with peo­ple on the street and in­ter­view them,” she says.

Lin be­came a full-time travel blog­ger in May this year.

And she is among 100 “vet­er­ans” who will be nur­tured to be­come tourism celebri­ties in a tourism video al­liance jointly run by China CYTS Tours Hold­ing Co and yixia.com, a pop­u­lar video live-stream­ing plat­form op­er­a­tor in Bei­jing, which owns Miaopai.

Yixia will in­vest 100 mil­lion yuan ($14.8 mil­lion) to pro­mote the al­liance, which is de­signed to boost tourism.

Live stream­ing has been all the rage this year, with hun­dreds of short video shar­ing and live broad­cast­ing plat­forms spring­ing up.

The num­ber of users who tuned into on­line broad­cast­ing shows reached 325 mil­lion by June, 2016, ac­count­ing for 45.8 per­cent of Chi­nese ne­ti­zens, ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­net devel­op­ment re­port by China in­ter­net Net­work In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter

Mean­while, CYTS and Yixia see the po­ten­tial and hope to in­te­grate tourism with the live stream­ing craze to make tourism mar­ket­ing more in­ter­est­ing, says an of­fi­cial with CYTS.

Com­pared with the tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing of a des­ti­na­tion, video of­fers more real vir­tual ex­pe­ri­ences, say ex­perts.

This is a view sup­ported by Dai Bin, the head of China Tourism Acad­emy, who says: “It’s great to en­rich a vis­i­tor’s ex­pe­ri­ence by en­abling him to see the des­ti­na­tion be­fore the trip, espe­cially in­for­ma­tion on scenic spots.”

The al­liance will fea­ture in­for­ma­tion on tourism bu­reaus, air­lines and ho­tel.

Well-known on­line celebri­ties in the tourism sec­tor will star in the videos to an­swer user’s ques­tions and share their travel. ex­pe­ri­ences about spe­cific des­ti­na­tions.

CYTS Tours has reached strate­gic agree­ments on live broad­casts with Heilongjiang, Guizhou and Qing­hai prov­inces, and the In­ner Mon­go­lia, Ti­bet and Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gions.

The travel agency, which used videos to boost tourism for Heilongjiang prov­ince and the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion this year re­ceived good feed­back from on­line users.

For Lin, she’s al­ready us­ing Miaopai to share her travel ex­pe­ri­ences, and some of her work has re­ceived more than 500,000 clicks.

Speak­ing about her fu­ture plans, Lin says there’s still a lot to do.

“I’d like to travel to as many des­ti­na­tions that I haven’t been to,” she says.

“And I also want to try some­thing three-di­men­sional and learn to take ae­rial, un­der­wa­ter or even VR pho­tos.”

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Lin Tingt­ing takes a selfie dur­ing an in­vited trip to Seoul, South Korea; she ex­pe­ri­ences lo­cal life in Er­dos, In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

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