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Big Data, ecommerce in Yunnan’s sights to boost cross-border tourism

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Yunnan is on course to set up a Big Data centre and an ecommerce platform to seize on crossborder tourism opportunities with Southeast Asia, said officials.
A number of initiatives were unveiled at the Cross Border Tourism Forum, which is part of the 2017 South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (SSACEIF) held from June 13-18 in Kunming.
Yunnan has also stepped up links with Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar – all three of whom have common borders – through infrastructure investment to partly also accommodate “drive tourism”, according to Yu Fan, a member of Yunnan Province Tourism Development Committee. 
Yunnan will also increase the number of sister city tieups with Cambodia and other Asean countries including Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore – all of which are favourite destinations of Chinese people.
“We have identified the rapid growth in tourism cooperation in the next 10 years as a ‘diamond period’,” said Lu Yuanqing, dean of Yunnan University’s Business Adm and Tourism Management School.
The three-year plan ending in 2018 is also mulling the idea of “no boundary tourism areas”, free trade arrangement, capacity buildings to reduce cultural conflicts. “We are looking for market integration, joint marketing actions,” he said.
His academy is also looking into the feasibility of setting up a Big Data centre and ecommerce. The issue has less to do with technology but how to integrate acceptable Chinese-Asean tourism information with mutual benefit, transparent, and workable one payment system.
Jiang Jun, general manager of China Intelligent Travel Technology Co, said Big Data for Yunnan and South and Southeast Asia, will help to bring lesser-known destinations to the fore. Even best restrooms can be detected for tourists to choose, he added.
Big Data can also enhance and encourage tourists to stay longer and spend more.
Zhao Jianjun, dean of Yunnan Province Tourism Academy, said in the South Silk Road tourism area, 20 million Chinese visit South and Southeast Asia annually, while 5 million citizens from the latter visit Yunnan. But 2 of the 5 million stay only in the border areas. “So how can we bring them in?”
“Our products are highly complementary with the 13 South and Southeast Asian nations. We have desert, alpine, lake, culture, ethics, etc,” he said, adding that Kunming now has flights linking 28 South and Southeast Asian cities. 
Wang Jie, leader of Yunnan University’s Business Adm and Tourism Management School, suggested that borฌder areas unlike cities often have less scalable services. There needs to be conceptual breakthrough to ease obstacles in border areas and promote tourism.
He referred to an old Chinese saying: “There are no borders in desert.”

 

Published : June 18, 2017

By : The Nation