Off the beaten track: China's tourism sector blazing trail out of virus blues
With spring right around the corner, one of the sectors hit the hardest by the novel coronavirus epidemic is gaining steam in its recovery. China's tourism industry is biding its time with multiple innovations and aid for a postponed high season.
As people choose to stay at home during the epidemic outbreak, the tourism industry, along with catering and out-of-home entertainment, were significantly impacted, according to consulting firm Kantar. About 75 percent of the surveyed travel companies' clients canceled their plans, and 17 percent of their consumers cut back spending.
The disrupted outdoor traveling, however, does not spell doom for the industry. It is pushing China's tourism market to go off the beaten track by exploring emerging business modes.
Many fresh endeavors are made at putting the travel experience online, with indoor flower appreciation realized in Shanghai via cloud computing, courtyards of the Forbidden City displayed online through 360-degree panoramic photography and the audio animal introduction recorded by popular TV hosts available for online visitors of the Beijing Zoo.
China's largest online travel agency Trip.com facilitated cloud tourism of over 3,000 tourist attractions in 832 cities of 48 countries in the world. Baidu.com launched around 300 online museums while Travelgo.com carried out free online promotion of travel destinations using virtual reality technology.