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Smart Tourism Destination: territorial and digital strategy

A national initiative builds a favourable framework for municipalities to integrate local procedures.

The national “Smart Tourism Destination” programme was deployed in thirty-three average-sized cities in China from 2009 under the impulse of the Chinese Council of State to promote the “smart” image of these towns and redirect tourist flows away from traditional destinations.

The initiative comprises three components.

  • The development of connected objects and sensors for implementing analysis of automated information. In the town of Sanya for example, this system is used to manage tourist sites: an RFID (radio-identification) chip is incorporated into the entrance ticket. The system is designed to control the number of visitors to heritage sites, which in turn are controlled by a set of sensors (air quality, human density, electrical consumption).

Lessons learnt

  • This reform introduced at national level enables balancing of the appeal of the Chinese territory and redistribution of revenue from tourism at local level.
  • Local authorities take advantage of this national programme to develop their own uses of digital tools in the tourism sector.

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