Number of full-time travel bloggers in China exceeds 100,000

(People's Daily Online) 17:33, May 20, 2021

Thanks to the boom in “we media” platforms, there are currently more than 100,000 full-time travel bloggers in China, a dramatic increase from less than 1,000 in 2016, according to incomplete estimates from statistics.

Sun Changjian at Sigiriya Lion Rock in Sri Lanka (Photo provided by the interviewee)

The number of travel bloggers on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in November 2020 saw a six-fold increase from January in the same year, while the number of followers per live-streaming session also increased by 528 percent, according to a white paper released by peopletrip.cn, a tourism news website under People's Daily.

The report noted that the tourist industry has accelerated its move to go online as a result of COVID-19. Meanwhile, these travel bloggers have been making their own contributions to boosting tourism consumption during the post-pandemic era.

“Compared with big platforms, bloggers are closer to consumers. As a result, bloggers can more accurately reach their own followers and affect their consumption decisions,” said an industry insider while analyzing the role of travel bloggers.

One of these bloggers is Sun Changjian, a 30-year-old man and an extreme sports enthusiast from Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province. Since 2017, when he first entered this field, he has traveled to more than 60 countries and gathered more than 5 million fans.

Now, Sun earns more than 1 million yuan ($155, 292) annually, turning his hobby into a career. Previously a product manager in a dairy company, Sun attributed his success as a travel blogger to making time for the thing he loves.

“The significance of life lies in doing what you enjoy most,” said Sun, noting that he started to engage in outdoor sports along with his friends after suffering from depression at the end of 2016, and deciding to try to beat his mental illness and not to live a monotonous life.

Sun then traveled to Lake Baikal in southern Siberia, Russia to enjoy its mysterious blue ice, and visited Murmansk, an Arctic city in northern Russia, to watch the northern lights and reindeer, among many other places in the world.

To Sun, a successful travel blogger must have outstanding writing and photography as well as efficient post-production abilities, but must also stay energetic and build up interpersonal communication and business negotiation skills. “A vblogger can stand out by continuously creating outstanding vlogs,” Sun added.

He admitted that the road to becoming a full-time travel blogger was not an easy one. For half a year in 2020, he didn’t make any income from his business, and several team members resigned due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

However, for another travel blogger named Pipi, a 25-year-old Beijing woman, the job is more relaxing as she does not have the pressure that comes from maintaining a team.

Pipi always shares her videos with the friends she has made during her travels. "After becoming a blogger, I regained my self-confidence and accepted who I am. I enjoy a sense of achievement if I can also help other people find themselves," said Pipi, explaining her original intention of being a travel blogger. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Sheng Chuyi)