Virtual tourism takes center stage on 12th China Tourism Day




A view of Tiantai Mountain, where travel writer Xu Xiake started his trek, Zhejiang Province, China. /CFP

Virtual tourism takes center stage on 12th China Tourism Day A view of Tiantai Mountain, where travel writer Xu Xiake started his trek, Zhejiang Province, China. /CFP

Thursday (May 19) marks the 12th China Tourism Day, and the theme this year is "Experience Chinese Culture and Enjoy a Beautiful Journey." 

The ancient city of Pingyao, north China's Shanxi Province, has been designated as the main venue for the activities related to the occasion. 

However, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, people's travel habits have undergone tremendous changes. It has become a consensus not to gather, not to travel far, and to pay more attention to hygiene. Traveling via new technical means like VR and online influencers has become a new way to see the world.

According to a survey of 2,085 respondents conducted by the Social Survey Center of China Youth Newspaper, 74.8 percent would choose to travel online. As many as 59.7 percent of respondents said they had a good experience of virtual travel, while 84.1 percent of respondents said it enriched their travel experience.

Especially for visiting museums, many people said virtual tours gave them a more detailed view of the exhibits.

The option of traveling online was there even before, but it has advanced even further amid the pandemic, said Li Baiwen, a professor at the School of Tourism of Beijing Union University.

"Through digital means, online travel has given traditional tourism a new form of presentation, and digital technology has provided more possibilities for producing tourism-related content," Li added.

On March 30, 2011, a State Council executive meeting passed a resolution to designate May 19 – the date when Xu Xiake began writing his travel notes – as China Tourism Day.

Xu was a renowned geographer, traveler and explorer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). His 30-year trek across the country led to the birth of the famous "Xu Xiake's Travel Notes."

This news comes from: CGTN

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