How Covid and technology drive China tourism change

Chengdu: blends modern with traditional

Greetings again from Shunyi for Tuesday 18th January 2022. Today we have tilted direction a little bit to introduce an article by Zhang Mei, founder of WildChina, travel company and a strong, passionate proponent of sustainable travel. A native of Yunnan province this piece explores the positive changes Mei found on a recent trip back to her homeland. While Mei comes from a tourism focus, it caught our eye as another clear example of how technology and the pandemic are changing, not just life in China, but how business are evolving to adapt.

We have all heard it, the new catch phrase being bandied around: “The New Normal.” Although it does seem, by and large, that most firms are still in the “blaming Covid” for everything wrong with their business (much of which predated Covid) there are, thankfully others who are in Carpe Dien mode – seizing the day. And the opportunity. The is the premise if you like, behind us quoting and referencing Mei’s article.We have included a few extracts as background.

The pandemic accelerated the discovery of domestic treasures by Chinese travelers.

“We went overseas before, and never thought there was anything worthwhile to see domestically.” Roger P, a wealthy lawyer in Beijing, told me, “Now with the pandemic, we have discovered beautiful parts of China. Thanks to Covid.”

Roger bikes around China with his wife and a few other couples regularly. The tour organizer packs and ships his 13,000 yuan ($2,043) bike ahead of time, and reassembles it upon arrival. In addition to their biking kits, the best hotels and a professional photographer/ videographer are standard issue for their travel. Since 2020 began, they have biked in Fujian, with a view of Taiwan far off in the distance, Xishuangbanna in Yunnan, Southern Gansu, Western Sichuan. Of course, TikTok and Little Red Book are driving these trends as well.

But it is not just Chinese travellers who are finding ways to explore their own country. Businesses are also looking “outside the box” which Mei also illustrates:

Yongning, a small town outside of Lugu Lake in Yunnan, seems stuck in the 1990s. Trucks roll through the only street in town, Yongning Lane, throwing a thick layer of dust onto the women in colorful ethnic costumes walking their grandchildren to school.

In recounting some of her early visits, Mei laments the demise of local culture and environment in the developmental rush to jump on the tourism bandwagon. However on her latest trip she is pleasantly surprised to notice subtle changes. Not just in the way cultures, custom and the environment are being protected and nurtured, but in the shift of technology:

Villagers have learned to make full use of TikTok to market mountain businesses. Villagers in Zhuangzi village tell me a success story of a young man marketing walnuts to his 300,000 fans on TikTok. 

What we are trying to illustrate and underscore here is that if you have, or are contemplating business in China it is imperative you keep abreast of changes. Not just Gvt policy or how many fans liked your last post, but the ground level changes in, as we noted above. Culture and marketing trends. To say China moves fast is a gross understatement and the casual, complacent businessperson can easily be caught out.

And again, don’t get sucked in by AP media headlines screaming 20 million Chinese locked down. Take some perspective and view it as % of a 1.4 billion population. Furthermore, very often, those lockdowns are provincial, meaning people are free, but access or egress to the province is denied. Maybe a few weeks, maybe a few days. As we said above, China moves fast. However we admit, it can be hard to find alternative, business orientated China information. Countering this Aim2D maintains a link collection of various publications, both local and international which we have found to carry useful helpful news and updates for foreign businesses in China.

Listed here is a very good source; CAIXIN GLOBAL, a freemium, independent daily publication from whom we often quote, including Mei’s original article: Zhang Mei: Surprising Changes in China Travel After Two Years of Covid.

Thanks for reading our China news, marketing, tech and social media article – we hope it was useful, relative, informative, valuable.

No?
Not Useful?
Then perhaps you may like to chat directly and personally with Everlyne?

But please, be aware of local (China) time when calling from overseas. Despite rumours to the contrary, Everlyne is human, not a bot, she does eat, drink and sleep – sometimes.


Whatever your question re Chinese Business, Marketing Tech or Social Media, she will know the answer, or know someone who does! A brief intro below;

Everlyne-Yu-Uengager

In 2003 Everlyne Yu co-founded WPBeijing Marketing Studio with Englishman Peter Bic, now known as Bic Brands.

She began Uengager, a company focused on customer engagement, as a SaaS MarTech company in 2017.

Hello, Nihao, I’m Everlyne

I love to talk about and help people understand the amazing ways MarTech and SaaS can work to strengthen your business engagement with Chinese consumers.
I know you have questions or want to talk about your brand or business in China so please, drop me a line opposite. If you prefer live chat, call and talk to me live, in person direct.

PRESS TO CALL ME NOW

Everlyne is also a key note speaker, lecturer and KOL on MarTech in China. She is CEO of Uengager, business development officer for Bicyu.

Everlyne hs been privileged to work with a variety of international organisations, from VW, Cushman Wakefield, Sodexo, Bristol Myers Squibb to local Chinese firms such as Midea, and OK Order.

If you’re looking for guidance, tips, advice on any aspect of starting or growing a business in China or training, coaching your existing China marketing team for excellence, be sure to check out Uengager. Home page and base for Everlyne Yu. Read her short bio – opposite left – or contact her direct – below – for a free, heart to heart chat.

Bicyu client logo bar
A selection of Bicyu clients since 2003

CONTACT EVERLYNE

Follow Uengager on Wechat

Note: App is in Chinese and needs WeChat account to access.

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OR:

Take Tea with Everlyne

北京海淀区清华科技园大厦B座

Covid’s persistence means this address is not always available.
But Beijing has many tea shops or cafes where we can still meet and chat

B1 XlabBuilding 1, TusPark B, Tsinghua Science Park

No.1 East Zhongguancun Road,Beijing, Haidian District 100084China

Published by The Bic

Bicyu is a NZ registered, British owned MarTech business based in Beijing providing marketing, tech, education and information services to European, NZ, Australian, UK, African, and Asian firms doing business in China. We work with local ones too. We've been here doing this since 2003. We also incorporate Aim2D and Uengager in our small brand list.

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