Category Archives: Huizhou – China

A Look Back at Week 2, and a Beautiful Trip to Luofu Mountain

Week 2  was an interesting one.  We finished up interviews of the various tourism related stakeholders and began to frame up our recommendations.
The team agrees that Huizhou has some beautiful ‘scenic spots’, clean air and much culture and history to share.  While most of the tourists today are local, Huizhou is facing stiff competition from other local cities and provinces.  They have a desire to attract more national and international tourists.  An admirable goal, we’re trying to augment their current actions with an approach to gt them on a big data and analytics foundation.  This will be critical for them to understand more about their tourists, and what they need to do to make Huizhou more attractive to other tourist market segments.
Today some of the team made a visit to Luofu Mountain, which is their only 5A rated (top rating) attraction in Huizhou.  The mountain is lovely,  with many natural features (caves, water falls, greenery) as well monuments and plaques to commemorate legends, reflect on horrible atrocities, and share historical artifacts such as buildings to house top Generals or other military figures in history.  There are also some wonderful culturally rich temples on the mountain. There are supposed to be over 1000 medicinal herbs on the mountain, so it is a very popular place for the Chinese people.   It was an extremely hot and SWEATY day, : ))  but one we enjoyed greatly and agree was necessary so we could have the true tourist experience first hand.
Claudia Pascoe Zielger, on behalf of team SCC@Huizhou China

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Powerful transformations happening in Tourism detsinations, Huizhou steering towards a big makeover in Smarter Tourism

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The river drifting as it is referred to in China or white water rafting as many of us know, is a good picture to depict what is happening in tourism. Adventure, dangerous waters, exciting times, thrilling and rewarding – if you push hard enough and make it happen!

So, what is the change sweeping through tourism destinations of the world?  Is it a global phenomena? Our client Huizhou city spurred us on this thought process by making a complex demand, which was that smarter tourism can not be separated from a city. Arguing on, the city leader’s executive delegate  felt that there is a need to  create an interlock between a city’s informative storyline and the shape tourism takes.

I could not agree less with the client. It is easy to understand that a great tourist destination gridlocked by political chaos or mind wracking traffic or dirty residential quarters do not go together. However, how does IBM SCC team crack such a assignment which addresses tourism while adding value to the city’s Smarter City quest??  Looks interesting?

can only say we are heads down on this, we have an exciting week remaining and are on the cusp of a path breaking recommendation set. Meanwhile, sharing some more photos

on behalf of SCC@Huizhou team

Ravi Shankar

A girl seems to be picking a fruit from the basket

A girl seems to be picking a fruit from the basket

On a visit to West Lake, Huizhou with the host

On a visit to West Lake, Huizhou with the host

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SCC@Huizhou Shows Dedication To Deliver!!

Our first weekend in Huizhou did not go quite as planned, but that did not stop the SCC Huizhou “Fantastic Five” (Kaaren, Ravi, Susan, Joe and myself) from making the most of our time in Huizhou.  We awoke Saturday morning to rain in the form of heavy and consistent downpours!!  Clearly our trip to Luofo Mountain needed to be rescheduled.  Undeterred, the team members set off to take advantage of the opportunity to explore more local cultural sites including a visit to the East River Antique Fold Custom Museum and the Yiwu market.

We had hopes for a better Sunday, but mother nature did not agree.  We’d put aside a couple hours for work on Sunday to organize our findings from the prior weeks activities and begin to prepare for a validation meeting on Monday with Ms Zhou ( Deputy Secretary-general of Huizhou Municipal Government) and Ms Huang (Tourism Bureau). Our Sunday workday extended into 6 hours as we identified, condensed and prioritized our “emerging ideas” from over 20 down to a core 12.  Our ideas seemed to organize themselves into different tourism related areas or domains. We began to construct these into a framework we might use to deliver our recommendations, as well as recognize key tourism related initiatives already underway in the Huizhou Tourism Bureau.

We closed up for the day realizing how much we had discovered in our first week, and thankful we spent the extra time paring down our focus for the start of week 2.

Claudia Pascoe Ziegler on behalf of SCC@Huizhou

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IBM SCC@Huizhou explores tourism attractiveness of Huizhou as well as reach out to Tourism ecosystem stakeholders

The SCC@Huizhou team(L to R) Ravi, Claudia, Susan, Kaaren and Joe

The SCC@Huizhou team(L to R) Ravi, Claudia, Susan, Kaaren and Joe

First, let me introduce the team, Claudia, Kaaren, Susan, Xie Hong(Joe) and me. We landed in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong  in South China and arrived into Huizhou by road. We had an orientation session with Ms. Zhou, the Huizhou’s Executive Delegate of the Mayor and Ms. Huang, Tourism Director. This was a good F2F interaction, where we could gauge stakeholder priorities, gather their suggestions and seek all the missing pieces of information, we needed. We had a magnificent kickoff of the SCC Huizhou project with the Mayor Mai Jiaomeng presiding over the function. IBM and Huizhou city leadership team emphasised the phenomenal importance of this project, the key leverage the SCC project holds in preparing the vision, Blueprint and Strategic Initiatives roadmap for Huizhou’s Smart Tourism. The Mayor offered his entire team’s cooperation and assured access for IBM to all resources they may need.

Ms. Huang, Director Tourism Bureau along with IBM SCC team

Ms. Huang, Director Tourism Bureau along with IBM SCC team

Ms. Huang, Tourism Bureau Director was extremely gracious in accompanying us on a visit to the famous Huizhou West Lake. We traveled in the comfort of a luxury boat to the key attractions of West Lake. The life size dragon statue is a good photo opportunity. West Lake is good for half a day.

We were also thrilled with the visit to Red Flower Lake scenic spot. Lake is misnomer, as it is much more than a lake. It is the ONLY drive in the world(which I have seen) where the road stays even(no ups or downs, except for the first and last two hundred meters) of 18 Kms, set on a connected series of hills on one side and the lake on the other side. The huge setting can absorb a few thousand tourists, without even seeming to be crowded. I do think this stands out as a unique attraction, where you could rent even a single family bike for two adults and a child to ride together or jog your way through the park. It is blessing, the automobiles are not allowed. Buggies do take visitors through the attraction in about an hour.

Team IBM with the Huizhou dragon on West Lake

Team IBM with the Huizhou dragon on West Lake

We have done a deep-dive in gaining understanding of the tourism economy at Huizhou, have started deliberations on the pain points to resolve, the aspirations of the city that need to be enabled, potential models which could integrate the tourism ecosystem and make Huizhou the ‘Smart Tourist destination’. Have great expectation and we are top on confidence, should be able to finish this on a HIGH!

Ravi Shankar on behalf of SCC@Huozhou team

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Kaaren Koomen’s BLOG on SCC@Huzhou progress

Yesterday we had a very useful day meeting with the Development and Reform Bureau in the morning and the Transportation Bureau and the Housing and Construction Bureau in the afternoon. These were all very useful meetings to try to ascertain what data is available as well as the planning strategy that is currently in place.

There was a lot of useful discussion and we could identify a number of areas in which data collection would be useful to identify trends, identify when and which types of infrastructure need to be invested in. We are getting a good sense of where the gaps in the current strategy might be, and how Huizhou could use data and some marketing techniques to significantly improve their tourism industry.

In the late afternoon we were treated to a tour of Red Flower Lake which was a most beautiful location with rainforests, a gorgeous lake, look out areas and a lovely winding road filled with cyclists and walkers. It was a free parkland and so we were all thinking of ways of capturing information about visitors – where they are from, how many visitors there were, what they liked and didn’t like and whether they would come again – lots of items for further thought and discussion!

We are looking forward to our meeting with the Science and Technology Bureau and the Tourism Associations later today and will update after that!  

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Wrapping Our First Week in Huizhou

6 pm Friday evening: We just completed our last set of interviews of our first exciting week in Huizhou. Today we were able to have more in depth discussions with leaders of 3 of the main tourist attractions: Huizhou West Lake, Luofo Mountain and Xuliao Bay.   These attractions highlight many beautiful aspects of the city, but are run and operated independently.  They each have their own ways of assessing tourist experiences and/or soliciting feedback.  As with any seasonal type of attraction, they have to deal with peaks and valleys of attendance, not only at the attraction itself, but the affects of which are felt in supporting infrastructure (roads, eateries, rest room facilities etc).  Significant enough as standalone issues, we also discovered throughout the week (and verified again today) that there is a lack of organized data collection, aggregation, analysis and sharing.

It will be an interesting next two weeks as we grapple to pull together a set of recommendations and use cases in a way that will be easy to understand, feasible to implement while at the same time putting Huizhou tourism  on a solid path of growth driven by new and innovative ideas.

Tomorrow morning bright and early it’s off to Luofo Mountain!!  Cheers!

Claudia Pascoe Ziegler with SCC@Huizhou

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Blazing start to SCC@Huizhou

It was a great start when we met with Ms. Zhou Haiyang, the Dy. Secretary General and executive delegate of the Mayor of Huizhou, along with Ms. Huang Xihua, Director of Tourism on August 10. The SCC Huizhou team presented their credentials and sought opinions about their interests and expectations on the challenge. It is interesting that Huzhou’s characteristics make it stand out. It is a treasure chest of rejuvenating ecological marvels.

We have a neat challenge in front of us:-

  1. Recognise the potential of Huizhou, as a tourist destination and articulate that in a vision which the city can embrace and work on
  2. Help them prioritise their initiatives, with a balanced approach to quick wins on one side and the more fundamental long-lasting critical mid-term and long term initiatives
  3. Help them visualise and set up a bottoms up comprehensive measurement framework, which can over time provide valuable analytics and actionable insights, which can make Huizhou, a well managed tourist destination.

The hosts have shown so much warmth and attention to detail in planning the discovery phase, we are gaining in confidence and are looking forward to every new meeting with greater eagerness.

Am sure, all of us will have a lot  to write about how we progress.

Ravi Shankar with SCC@Huizhou

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