Hu Yuyan is a writer for China Daily.Share - WeChat
Tourism officials in China have been using social media to promote local attractions through short videos, which has led to a surge in their popularity. The pressure for destinations to upgrade what they offer has increased as a result of this mostly welcome approach.
He Jiaolong is one of the most well-known social mediainfluencers. After a video of her riding a horse across the snowy plains went viral, she became an overnight sensation.
In her new role as the deputy director of the culture and tourism bureau of the Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture in northwest China, she and her team sold over 30 million dollars worth of local agricultural products.
There is a director of the tourism authority in the Garze Tibetan prefecture. He is a spokesman for his prefecture's tourism resources in one of the videos.
By Wednesday, the Chinese version of TikTok had gotten more than 2.39 million likes and 92,000 comments, making it the most-liked video on the account.
At an event in Beijing to promote the Yinxu Ruins in Anyang, the head of the tourism authority of the city dressed up as Fuhao, China's first known female general.
According to Zeng Bowei, director of the research center for China's tourism economy and policy at Beijing Union University, eye-catching content is important to capture people's attention. The tourism officials are trying to explore a new marketing method.
He said that developing the tourism industry is difficult and that many local tourism departments have limited budgets. A cost-effective way to promote tourism is to make short videos.
The destinations that officials represent should become the center of attention. He said that the purpose of promotion is not to make a bureau chief an internet celebrity, but to make a tourist destination an internet celebrity.
While social media marketing can be an effective way to promote tourism, the short-term surge in popularity should not replace efforts to improve the quality of facilities and services offered to tourists.
Song suggested that tourism officials focus on quality control and new experiences for tourists to enjoy so that they retain their appeal over the long term.
During the Chinese New Year holiday in January, several destinations in Henan province, including Jianye Film Town and the Yuntai Mountain, were popular with tourists because of their unique and high-quality sights and events.