(Yicai Global) March 13 -- Chinese bureaus of culture and tourism are adopting new methods to promote regional tourism by posting short videos and as the pandemic is under control, the results are starting to show.
This year, bookings related to tourism have surged even from the same period before the pandemic in 2019 after bureau chiefs promoted their regions' cultural attractions, online news outlet The Paper reported today, citing statistics from multiple travel agencies.
An insider in the tourism industry said that heads of regional culture and tourism authorities are becoming internet celebrities and so the areas they endorse are likely to attract more investments in the future.
In the two weeks ended March 6, ticket reservations for scenic spots advertised by local cultural authorities grew by almost three times from a year ago and soared by 21 times from 2019, according to data released by travel agency Qunar.Com. Hotel bookings in these areas increased by 76 times year-over-year with a 167-fold boost from 2019.
An insider at Qunar.Com said to the Paper that the increase was mainly caused by recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic but authorities' promotional activities also had a role in facilitating growth. The trend of tourism officials turning into influencers took off late last year.
The results have been noticeable in smaller regions. During the seven-day Chinese New Year holiday in January, hotel bookings in Suizhou, Hubei province, climbed by 68 percent from a year earlier, according to travel platform LY.Com. The corresponding surge in the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province was 95 percent YoY.
Since February, online searches related to regions promoted by heads of culture and tourism bureaus have grown by varying degrees, according to online travel agency Mafengwo. Searches about the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan province jumped by 83 percent YoY or a 7 percent uptick from January. The increase for the Tacheng Prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is 39 percent from a month ago.
But officials should remember their core duties. Dai Bin, head of the China Tourism Academy, said that even though officials' efforts are appreciated, more attention should be paid to laws and regulations in the medium and long-term development of tourist destinations and bureaus should prioritize creating and cultivating new products.
Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi