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Every visitor wants to take a photo while crossing this bridge into Heshun.

Smart tourism spurs development of town in Yunnan, China 

Heshun, Yunnan province, China: The widespread use of smart technology has had a positive and highly visible impact on the old town of Heshun, with more than 4,000 residents now leading better lives.
The figure was reported by local authorities when reporters from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Republic of Korea and Japan visited the town during the CSD Forum 2023, hosted by Huawei in Yunnan province on November 21.
Heshun Town is part of Tengchong City and is home to many overseas Chinese. It is also a national 4A-grade tourist attraction and it is being considered for promotion to 5A-grade.
Over the past six centuries since it was founded, Heshun has developed a unique blend of cultures from around the world. This has given the town a strong edge in the development of its tourism and culture.

Vehicles are on hand to shuttle vistors to their hotels and other places in Heshun.

Since 2005, the town has won many awards for its beautiful scenery and unique history and culture. On May 19, 2023, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism designated Heshun as the main venue for China Tourism Day.
Heshun launched its plan for smart tourism in 2020, which was officially implemented in November 2021. 5G networks developed by China Mobile and Huawei deliver high speeds, millisecond-level latency, ultra-large capacity, and ultra-high reliability and security, making 5G-enabled smart tourism a viable option.
High-altitude HD cameras, one-click alarm systems, fire monitoring systems, water and air quality monitoring systems, and AI-based tourist heatmaps have been installed in every corner of the town.
The 5G network integrates different types of data into the town’s smart platform without damaging local infrastructure.
This enables the smart management of scenic spots and improves the provincial government’s ability to protect cultural relics, the environment, and tourist safety. Heshun has also creatively applied AI to smart tourism projects, which has allowed tourists to have conversations with important historic figures.
The Holographic Projection Experience Zone in the tourist centre allows tourists to enjoy true-to-life views of local scenery in just five minutes.
Technologies such as 5G, 3D digital animation, and VR/AR are taking tourism in Heshun to a whole new level, and at the same time, the town’s long history is adding a cultural dimension to these technologies.
Technologies such as 5G, VR/AR, IoT, and big data are seeing broader adoption at scenic spots, including smart facilities like self-service ticket vending machines, leisure benches with charging functions, self-service photo printers, and smart water dispensers. All of these allow tourists to enjoy smarter tourism experiences.
That yields insights that can make tourists’ lives easier, for example, by assigning a visitor’s car to an optimally situated parking place that saves the driver and his family a long walk.
First-time visitors don’t have to worry about getting lost. Using a WeChat mini programme, they can find their way around, buy tickets, locate restaurants, catch buses, and book hotels, among other things.
City authorities can receive alarms from 50 points throughout the town to respond to any emergency in real time. Whether you’ve lost your phone or lost contact with your family member, help is just one click away.
Even the physical infrastructure has intelligence built into it. Automatic photo printers allow shutterbugs to scan a QR code and print their best snapshots on site. Benches equipped with solar panels and electricity outlets can be used to charge smartphones.
Smart water fountains monitor the quality and flow rate of water, ensuring it is both safe to drink and not being wasted. If you’re visiting in July, but want to know what Heshun looks like when blanketed in snow, you can see it vividly rendered with VR and 3D digital animation technology.
Heshun’s digital infrastructure also allows it to be equipped with security cameras and a fire monitoring system, playing an important role in the protection of the natural environment and its historically significant sites.
Built along rivers and surrounded by mountains, the town of Heshun is located about 650 kilometres west of the provincial capital, Kunming. Its history stretches back more than 600 years.
During the Ming era, it was established as a trading and military outpost to fortify the dynasty’s presence when Yunnan was just a distant frontier.
Tengchong City is ramping up efforts to develop smart tourism in Heshun and this delivered tangible economic value in 2022.
“Tengchong’s tourism industry has unique advantages,” said Deputy Director of the Tengchong Culture and Tourism Bureau, Ms Chang Zaifei.
“From January to September 2023, Tengchong received 13.37 million tourists and garnered tourism revenue of 17.1 billion yuan, representing increases of 22 percent and 38 percent respectively year-on-year.

By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update December 5, 2023)

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