Integrated Tour Course in Jiaodong Noticeable Results from the Experiential Event
|Qingdao -0001.11.30~-0001.11.30 PlaceQingdao|
An integrated travel course event was held with respect to five cities located in Jiaodong (Shandong Peninsula) from June 15 to 20 by the Federation of Integration of Culture and Tourism of the Economic Sphere (文化和旅游一体化联盟) under the slogan, “Take a deep breath in the mountains and at sea; healthy tours in Jiaodong.” This is a five-city travel and cultural experience event organized for the first time by the federation since its establishment.
Cooperation was pursued through resource integration, linking of tourist sites, and planning of travel products. A tour group was formed to tour the five cities, Qingdao, Weihai, Yantai, Weifang, and Rizhao, and to “discover the most beautiful coastline of eastern China.” The tour group explored some 30 tourist sites and traveled a total distance of at least 1,600km. Representatives from the local media, offline, and online travel agencies, etc. participated in the field tours and discussions. They agreed to pursue exchanges with the culture and tourism federation of the five cities and develop tour courses based on eleven themes.
1. Sufficient Discussion & Close Cooperation
Qingdao Culture and Tourism Bureau planned the recent event as the Secretariat of the Federation, and the event was jointly held by the culture and tourism bureaus of the five cities concerned. Prior to the event, the officials from the bureaus of the five cities carefully selected tourist sites and members of the tour group. Considering on how well the tourist sites represent their cities and the future market capacity, specific themes, diverse forms, the detailed schedules were established. In the course of the experience, culture and tourism bureau of each city communicated with the selected destinations in advance to arrange commentators and provide detailed data.
After the tour program, feedback regarding the integrated tour courses was reflected in a timely manner, and there were discussions regarding a follow-up tour group marketing campaign.
2. Target-Oriented Integrated Management of Resources
The tour courses were designed based on market-oriented strategies and the needs of tourists. The basic framework for an integrated tour course system was established, and a specific tour course pricing system was set up based on ten unique and excellent tour courses that consist of tours in at least two cities as well as one tour course that takes the participants through all five cities. The products were offered on the market through OTA platforms and travel agencies in a timely manner, and three tour groups were formed. Around 150 original works were created for promotion and marketing purposes, and they were shared via the official online media accounts of the five cities, television, other broadcasting media, newspapers, online media, etc. in the form of news clips, short video clips, and H5. The videos were viewed more than 20 million times in total. A travel agency was organized for face-to-face communication in regard to cooperation in the culture and tourism integration efforts, and close cooperation was pursued with travel agencies, tourist site operators, hotels, and so on. As a result, around 50 memoranda of understanding on cooperation were concluded. In addition, there were in-depth discussions of an integrated tourism card.
3. Exploring Mechanisms and Seeking a Breakthrough
With the tourism and culture sector sustaining heavy losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, related enterprises are recognizing the need to cooperate with one another and overcome this crisis, and the best option appears to be to identify the mechanism for cooperation in integration, minimize management risks of the federation, and make joint responses in this time of hardship. Thus, the recent event served a meaningful role in bringing together relevant individuals for an in-depth discussion concerning related mechanisms. The matters discussed were as follows: first, it is to continue the integrated tour course marketing campaigns. The culture and tourism bureaus of the five cities will continually raise awareness of the integrated tour courses through online media accounts including WeChat and Weibo, tour groups, joint presentations, OT platforms, and recruitment of travel agencies and foster brand products approved by the mayors through continuous promotion and coordination for two to three years. Second, it is to review the possibility of establishing a federation of integrated travel organization. With travel agencies, hotels, and tourist site operators as the key entities, they will strive toward growth based on mutual cooperation and benefits. Third, it is to come up with a mechanism for the five cities to provide preferential treatment to one another. They will host events and offer special discounts to the residents of the five cities, in addition to promoting outbound tourists to the other cities for joint prosperity of the Jiaodong tourism market.