Travel bloggers gain more sway in China's tourism industry

(People's Daily Online) 16:22, August 12, 2021

"I think I am still a tour guide. The people that I guide each time used to be only a few dozens of tourists, but now they include thousands of users online," said a travel blogger surnamed Dai who has been engaged in the tourism sector for over 10 years and took up his current job due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

A travel blogger live streams on the beach near a fishing village in Sanya, south China's Hainan province. (Xinhua/Zhang Liyun)

Thanks to the rapid development and popularization of the Internet and We-Media, the number of travel bloggers on China's video-sharing platform Douyin soared six times by the end of last year compared with January earlier that year, according to a recently released report.

The report also indicated that the average number of viewers for such live-streaming activities rose by 528 percent, further indicating the rapid growth of the online travel industry.

Compared with marketing platforms for tourism, travel bloggers can better cater to consumers' individual demands, thereby influencing their decisions in a more accurate and focused way.

From Dai's perspective, the popular trend of travel bloggers recommending relevant products online while consumers go about purchasing them offline has emerged in a big way, which has also become one of his sources of income. Besides, fans may also customize their own travel plans after soliciting Dai's professional opinions.

"At first, I simply intended to increase my income by making some video clips while working. Now, however, I am a full-time travel blogger," revealed the ex-tour guide.

In fact, it is not an easy task to become an excellent travel blogger. "Selecting destinations, planning routes, shooting videos, and post-production are all indispensable steps for the production of tourism-based contents," said Hou Ze, a 24-year-old Chinese student studying in the Netherlands, who started a travel channel on social media a few years ago and now serves as a travel blogger in his spare time.

Hou explained that at the present stage, travel bloggers can carry out their work through two methods: one is to complete the tasks specified by a cooperative partner according to a fixed route and scripts, while the other is to set their own travel routes and complete the shooting independently during the process.

"Both of the two methods are more difficult than you can expect. To be a successful travel blogger, you have to be skilled at both content creation and account operations," said Hou.

Last year, Hou started to set up his own team dedicated to producing tourism-related content. The team was made up entirely of Chinese overseas students.

"During the epidemic prevention period, viewers can walk the streets of exotic cities, and explore local cultural characteristics through our camera lens. Our original intention was to become the 'eyes' of our fans," Hou explained. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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