China's tourism consumption features technology, individuality, integration

(Xinhua) 14:30, May 24, 2024

BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- With the continuous upgrading of domestic tourism consumption demand, China's tourism market continues to thrive with growing investment confidence.

During this year's May Day holiday, 295 million domestic trips were made in China with a 7.6 percent increase year on year. Domestic tourist expenditures amounted to 166.89 billion yuan (about 23.47 billion U.S. dollars), up 12.7 percent from the same period in 2023.

A report released by the China Tourism Academy (CTA) showed confidence index in culture and tourism investment sectors during the first half of this year went up by 3.7 percent from the previous period to 144.1.

Application of technologies, along with the preference for county-level travel and integration of culture and tourism, is shaping new trends in consumer experiences.


Driven by new technologies, smart tourism has become a buzzword in China's tourism industry, captivating travelers across the country and beyond.

In the Shougang Park of Beijing, tourists line up to enjoy immersive experiences through entertainment equipment empowered by 5G, extended reality (XR), and virtual reality (VR) technologies.

The park, transformed from a former steel mill, now embraces its rebirth. By combining characteristic real scenes and lighting, as well as technologies such as AR and VR, immersive experiences in the park are creating a new kind of tourism consumption scene.

The Shanghai Astronomy Museum, a popular tourist spot, offers wonderful immersive universe adventures through XR, 3D movies and so on by visualizing obscure astronomical data.

During this year's May Day holiday, the first batch of smart tourism immersive experience venues released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism attracted more than 4.3 million visits, with consumption topping 220 million yuan.

Dai Bin, president of the CTA, said that with accelerated application of 5G, artificial intelligence, big data, VR and other new technologies in culture and tourism, the industry is demonstrating broad prospects for quality development.


Chinese tourists' growing preference for niche destinations and experiences has unleashed huge potential of the country's numerous lesser-known travel spots.

On social media platform Xiaohongshu, tourists have uploaded over 380,000 posts about their county-level travels, showcasing county travel craze among the platform's mostly young users.

In general, tourists visit counties for a bite of their local specialities, simply seeking spiritual tranquility, or checking on their special tourism IPs.

Rongjiang County of Guizhou Province, for example, attracted more than 400,000 visitors as the birthplace of the Village Super League, grossing a tourism income of over 400 million yuan.

Similarly, tourists flocked to Zibo, Shandong Province, last year for its barbecue food. This year, they turned to Tianshui, Gansu Province, for Malatang, the numbing-spicy hotpot. Prior to that, both of these two places became internet hits for the food.

Li Xue, researcher at the CTA, said counties not only boast beautiful landscapes but also offer quality living space, which constitute the core competitiveness of county-level tourism.


Integration of culture and tourism enriches travel experiences by combining cultural heritage, traditions and local flavors with tourism development.

In Chaozhou, Guangdong Province, visitors savor traditional local delicacies like beef balls, crispy pancakes, and sugar paintings at a special market where they can also interact with local food artisans.

In Ordos, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, visitors can not only buy soft and exquisite cashmere products, a popular souvenir, but also engage in hands-on activities to decode their production process.

The CTA predicted that over 6 billion domestic trips will be made in China this year, generating tourism income of 6 trillion yuan, highlighting the vibrant prospects of technology-enabled tourism featuring integration with culture and more personalized choices of destinations.

Dai said changes in tourist consumption demands are forcing the industry to focus on improving modern tourism system and promote its quality development.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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