Video series reveals destinations' human side

Updated 2018-04-23 15:51:02 China Daily

The short-video series, Encounter, includes such scenes as a photographer who cycles to Adelaide in Australia. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Chinese travel-information website Qyer and Quriosity Studio recently co-released the short-video series, Encounter, about the daily lives of locals in 11 countries.

The 30-episode series of three- to five-minute videos tell the stories, and show the visual splendors of such destinations as Australia, Bhutan and Thailand.

They reveal the lives of such real-life characters as a pottery artist in the Christmas markets of Vienna's Karlsplatz and a bell-ringer who has worked for 35 years in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia.

The series received over 10 million hits in the first two weeks after its release on major Chinese video platforms and Qyer in early April.

"People make places. What impresses you most while traveling is your interactions with the locals rather than the beautiful views, scenic spots and historical sites," Qyer's founder and CEO Xiao Yi says.

"Chinese travelers will enjoy the beauty of travel and take inspiration from these tourism-related stories."

He's confident that short videos about tourism will increasingly appeal to audiences as short videos are surging in popularity in the mobile-internet era.

Xiao says Qyer is a content-and community-driven platform, and Encounter is a milestone for the website's shortvideo strategy.

"We've filmed stories about interesting people from different destinations, including restaurants and hotels," says Encounter's director Zhao Qi, founder of Quriosity Studio, which produces international-tourism videos.

"Ultimately, it's about delivering diversity of lifestyles and values."

Zhao produced Last Train Home, which won the 33rd News and Documentary Emmy Awards in 2012 for both Best Documentary and Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting-Long Form.

"It's challenging to complete 30 high-quality short videos in just over six months," Zhao says.

The studio's team went to some of the destinations for on-site filming.

They invited local crews to shoot some episodes. The studio then assumed such editorial responsibilities as topic selection, content outlining and revisions.

One episode is about Noriko Suga, who owns Noboribetsu Onsenkyo Takinoya, a traditional onsen (hot spring) hotel in Hokkaido, Japan.

She's the third-generation inheritor of the family business. Last year marked the hotel's centennial anniversary.

"We offer four kinds of onsen with different minerals. Soaking in an onsen relaxes your body and benefits your skin," Suga says, dressed in a kimono, at the news conference for the videos' release in Beijing.

She adds that Hokkaido is good to visit in all seasons. There are beautiful cherry blossoms in May and red maple leaves in autumn.

Japan received roughly 7.4 million visits from the Chinese mainland last year, a more than 15 percent increase over 2016. China has been Japan's largest inbound market for three straight years.

Those who've encountered Encounter and visit this year may arrive with a deeper understanding of these destinations' human interest.

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