With the help of live broadcasts, short videos, social media and other platforms, a group of new and old Internet celebrity cities have "circled fans" online. From Chongqing, which is "8D magic", Changsha, where there are many Internet celebrities, to Jiangmen and Dali, Yunnan, which became popular due to popular TV series, to Zibo, which is "popular" due to barbecue, many cities attract tourists from all over the world to "check in" with their own characteristics. How to change from "Internet celebrity" to "long-term popularity", turn "traffic" into "retention", transform online popularity into development power, and shape the real competitiveness of the city, has become a topic of social concern.

Short travel videos are popular

Xiao Zhao, a Hangzhou girl in the clothing industry, is an avid traveler, and she and a few friends like to watch videos of popular attractions on short video platforms, and then happily "check in" together, or enjoy unique natural and cultural landscapes, or feel wonderful historical and cultural customs, or taste mouth-watering local specialties. "Taking photos, taking short videos, posting TikTok, and posting moments are must-do in travel." She said.

Not long ago, a video of more than 100 students collectively reciting the "Preface to the Pavilion of King Teng" in front of the Tengwang Pavilion in Nanchang, Jiangxi, became popular on the Internet. Subsequently, the topic of reciting the "Preface to the Tengwang Pavilion" to visit the Tengwang Pavilion for free has continued to heat up, and short videos taken by tourists can also become a viral hit.

Young people who grew up in the Internet environment have shown their unique concept of cultural tourism consumption, and they pay more attention to travel experience and the social topics brought about by it. Short videos have become an important communication and expression tool, mobilizing tourists' enthusiasm to record and discover the charm of the city. The reason is first of all because travel short videos are more intuitive, richer, storytelling and entertaining. In addition, in the short videos taken by tourists, the attractions and food are often more down-to-earth, and they can experience a city more closely. In addition, friends like to go to the "check-in place", they also go to check in, and connect with each other in a new way, which is a new form of socialization.

Shi Yupeng, deputy director of the China Internet Economy Research Institute of the Central University of Finance and Economics, said in an interview with this newspaper that more and more cities are attracting tourists by creating an image of an Internet celebrity city because consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet to obtain information, which allows cities to reach consumers at a lower cost on the Internet and obtain better publicity effects.

"With the development of social media, people's perceptions and ways of traveling are constantly changing. Popular attractions are no longer limited to traditional scenic spots and scenic spots, but have expanded more widely to various fields such as food, literature and art, and fashion. The popularity of Zibo barbecue on social media is a good example, which has attracted a large number of netizens to taste, check in and share. Liu Dian, a specially invited associate researcher at the Institute of China Studies of Fudan University, said in an interview with this newspaper that many cities have made efforts in Internet publicity and promotion, and have increased the city's attention and promoted the development of cultural tourism by creating an image of urban "Internet celebrities".

Amplify the unique strengths of the city

The cultivation and creation of Internet celebrity cities need to combine the advantages of local resources, culture, history, beautiful scenery, and food to highlight their unique characteristics.

Liu Dian said that the city's own tourism resources and characteristics must be attractive, only in this way can it stand out in the market competition and attract more people's attention. For example, Zibo's special barbecue, Xi'an's historical heritage, etc., these distinctive features make tourists curious and interested, thus driving the tourism development of these cities. "The city that is hotly discussed by netizens is not necessarily a traditional tourism city, the city can explore local characteristics and culture through innovation, develop characteristic cultural tourism products, and then drive the all-round development of the local economy, and a good marketing strategy is a necessary means to amplify the characteristics of the city."

Many cities offer novel and fun tourism products to make cities different and avoid homogeneous competition with other cities. For example, Liuzhou has opened special bus lines such as Hi Fan and Night Supper Delicacies, passing through various snail powder "net celebrity shops" and major night markets, and also opened a "special line for flower viewing" during the Bauhinia season; Nanchang City has built the IP of Tengwang Pavilion, and gradually formed a city tourism business card marked by Tengwangge Scenic Area, Nanchang mixed powder, crockpot soup, etc.; Nanjing has launched the "Intangible Cultural Heritage Market" featuring the National Style Fair in the Mochou Lake Scenic Area, launched the Dharma Grottoes Light and Shadow Art Museum in the Dharma Ancient Cave Scenic Area, and launched an art exhibition in the Green Expo Park.

In reality, there are also some areas where there is a phenomenon of blindly following the trend, such as ignoring their own personality and characteristics, copying and introducing "check-in" elements such as tumbler performances, glass boardwalks, sky mirrors, and light shows. "We must prevent blindly chasing the instant effect of the network, making a position and surprise, and especially preventing rushing, copying, and mismatching." Jin Yuanpu, director of the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries at Chinese Minmin University, said that each city has its own genes and should shape the city's unique image and temperament.

Form an industrial agglomeration effect

"Explosive popularity" is really rare, and "long red" is even more difficult. Industry insiders pointed out that if the Internet celebrity city cannot follow the trend and make up for the shortcomings of the city in public transportation, roads, accommodation, catering, urban governance, etc., the life cycle of the "Internet celebrity" effect may be very short.

It is important to accelerate the improvement of the overall tourism environment and services. Since March this year, the search volume of "Zibo barbecue" keywords on various Internet platforms has increased significantly year-on-year, and the huge traffic has not only brought business opportunities to local barbecue practitioners in Zibo, but also effectively promoted the development of local tourism. "The local government, businesses and citizens have cooperated very well, created a happy, harmonious and mutual trust atmosphere, impressed tourists with 'the beauty of human feelings' and sincere attitude, and jointly maintained the image of 'Zibo BBQ'." Wang Shuguang, executive deputy director of the Institute of Industry and Culture of Peking University, said in an interview with this newspaper that Zibo citizens are warm, friendly and hospitable, and have goodwill to foreign tourists in terms of transportation, food and accommodation; Merchants do not "slaughter customers", are honest and self-disciplined, do not lack two pounds, and sit on the ground to start the price; The government has shown sincerity and action, responded quickly, and provided real services and convenience for tourists by establishing barbecue associations, holding barbecue festivals, opening barbecue trains, adjusting bus routes, and increasing market supervision.

"Internet celebrity cities, not only online popular cities. If an Internet celebrity city wants to be popular for a long time and maintain traffic, it must form a high-quality development model. An industry insider believes that in the era of "attention economy", how to transform online traffic into the core competitiveness of the city, and eventually attract the influx of people and form an industrial agglomeration effect, is the ultimate goal of the city to create an "Internet celebrity label".

Jin Yuanpu believes that to transform online traffic into real dividends, supporting facilities and public services must be in place, it is necessary to do more detailed work in all aspects of urban development, especially in tourism upgrading, and continuously enhance tourists' sense of experience, participation and integration through the construction of new technologies, new management and new operations.

Shi Yupeng said that it is necessary to take a broader perspective, consider the construction of Internet celebrity cities with the city's investment attraction and business environment construction, and show tourists the development style of the city in an all-round way through tourism services; Take tourism services as the city's traffic entrance, drive the flow of talents and capital with the flow of tourists, and truly transform the traffic code of tourism into the city's wealth code.

Li Xueqin (Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition)

Li Xueqin