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Start-up idea

LiliyaL (4 posts) • 0

Hi there, I have a start-up idea which is to design Yunnan traveling plan for foreigners. According to customers' requests, each plan has very detail route information, traffic information, and other useful tips. I could also provide reservation service for accommodation, car, tour ticket, etc.

If there is a service like this, do you want to purchase? Do you think this is a good idea???

Brief introduction for myself, I am a local here and a super fan of traveling.

HFCAMPO (3062 posts) • 0

I had a website that offered FREE information for foreign travellers. I discontinued the website after 6 years because I was busy with my own travels.

I was in contact with many foreigners both here in China and abroad. I gave them FREE info and corrected their itinerary and made recommendations based on my own experience.

Keep in mind that I probably have travelled to more places in Yunnan than many locals and I provided FREE info from the perspective of a foreigner. Many people who know me still contact me and I still provide FREE info.

My point is that it is hard to compete when someone offers the same or better service for FREE. I have personally travelled to every single place listed in the following GK threads.

78 Historical sites in Yunnan - www.gokunming.com/[...]

www.gokunming.com/[...]

www.gokunming.com/[...]

218 District, City and Provincial level sites in all 5 districts of Kunming - www.gokunming.com/[...]

246 Temples in all 5 districts of Kunming - www.gokunming.com/[...]

www.gokunming.com/[...]

www.gokunming.com/[...]

www.gokunming.com/[...]

www.gokunming.com/[...]

24 of the 48 UNESCO sites in China - www.gokunming.com/en/forums/thread/9948/unesco_sites_in_china

www.yunnanadventure.com/
This tour service also comes highly recommended although it is NOT free.

Alexez (339 posts) • 0

Lilia....try to beat that! :-) and I mean it :-)

this guy probably has seen more places in China then u even heard of :-)

Besides, most of the foreigners who r in asia, don't like " plan has very detail route information etc" ...thats missing the adventure part of the traveling. "tour ticket"..Ive been to one by mistake and I wont go it again ( did it only for business purposes ). U can obtain lots of info here or any other,even foreign sites which you r not aware of, for free. So unless u come up with something new, suitable to laowai traveling needs, in my opinion...no, its not a good idea.
The only way how to find it out is to create a website, fill it with usefull info, keep it updated, promote and wait what happen. But in my experience, foreigners who travel around the country know more then local people who just go to work every morning and come back from work in the evening. I mean, it applies to any country, not just China.

sbarella (105 posts) • 0

I believe the market is already quite saturated... lots of agencies already provide this kind of service and many foreign travel agencies have connection to local ones. Unless you can offer something VERY different, it would be hard to succeed!

Xiefei (507 posts) • 0

I'll also chime in to say that people probably won't pay for information on where to go. The way to add value is to help facilitate the trip. There are already quite a few people providing tailored tour services for small groups, but if you can do it well, I'm sure there's room for more. That means, instead of saying, "You should go to Shaxi and see the following places," you actually help them arrange lodging, transportation and guide services.

If it's just going to be information services, you might want to look into turning it into some kind of app they can put on their phone and use to find their way around, and maybe even facilitate payments in places where foreign cards are useless.

The Scouser (41 posts) • 0

How about taking people to remote villages to see the minorities. I would imagine most adventurers would find that interesting, yet difficult to arrange.

Maybe trips to the bullfights, the knife ladder shows, the fire dances, those sort of things.

Alien (3819 posts) • 0

I'm pretty sure there are organizations &/or travel agent contacts in Jinghong to arrange trips to Dai, Bulang and other minority villages in Xishuangbanna - check at Meimei's cafe &/or Mekong Cafe there, they can certainly direct you &/or make arrangements. LiliyaL, perhaps you can facilitate connections there and elsewhere. Perhaps you can facilitate connections there and elsewhere. Note, however, that, as Xiefei says, there is already plenty of information already available, free - on gokunming, among other places

Geezer (1891 posts) • 0

@LiliyaL: Most Westerners, I am one of them, do not enjoy traveling with Chinese tour operators in the Chinese style. Suffice it to say rushing from one spending opportunity to the next with the sights given the least time possible is not my idea of a great deal. The last one I was on stopped for an hour at some sort of TCM store and the next stop was for five minutes at a very scenic spot to unload the bus and take pictures then get back on the bus. If you are a super fan of traveling and are planning this sort of business, you will fail.

I know two very successful tour companies in Beijing. Both have been in business for about 15 years:

Wild China, upscale, expensive and very good. They specialize in excellent tours that are well run for corporate clients and people who want to see China on a first class basis and have the money to pay for it. It is a world class operation.

www.wildchina.com/

The second is Chinese Cultural Center, CCC, and specializes in day/half day tours around Beijing as well as trips around China. I have been on more than 30 of their tours. They run a good operation, well guided, no shopping, heavy on culture and very educational. The travel tours always have excellent accommodations and the greatest meals. They have taken me to great and interesting places and almost everyone enjoyed the experience. They plan well and the guides are knowledgeable, friendly and have excellent attitudes. The goals of each trip are reasonable so they are unhurried, interesting and the tourist sees what is promised and is not rushed.

The only bad experience was on a bus trip to Hebei and Shanxi when the bus was detoured off the highway and into an epic traffic jam for about eight hours when returning to Beijing.

www.chinaculturecenter.org/
www.ccctravel.net/

Look at these websites. Study them and learn. If you have the right attitude toward service and work hard to design and plan simple, interesting tours, you can be different and successful.

JanJal (901 posts) • 0

Of course one thing about selling services to foreigners - especially to tourists not living in China long term - is to make them find you. That means presence in foreign social media and media in general.

Which in turn means getting around various obstacles that Chinese have in that field - legally or illegally.

LiliyaL (4 posts) • 0

Thanks for all advice for my idea. I didn't describe my idea thoroughly, so I add some more details here.

I've been maintaining a local self-media on weibo, wechat platforms for a couple months. It provides information about new and nameless natural places around Kunming, helping locals to find new places for weekend. If you have weibo or wechat, you could search "昆明周末游". My friend and I are looking for new solutions for Yunnan's local tourism and this is one of our tries.

For traveling planing, I think for foreigners who come to a new country the first time, a traveling plan is quite important and meaningful for some people, especially to a country like China with language barrier and cultural misunderstanding.

Some comments mentioned that foreigners don't like Chinese travel agencies and I do know and understand. We young Chinese don't like tour agencies either. So the traveling plan is not going to suggest worthless tourist attractions. In the contrary, I will provide worthy information like what kind of traditional food to eat, the best hostels to see best view near Er Hai, quiet and comfortable bars in Lijiang. What's more, the plan will be designed for each person based on different needs. For example, someone plans to stay in Yunnan over one month and want to find a couple of quiet, comfortable and remote villages, the plan provides several villages with detail transport info, natural places with good views, nice hostels, and good recommended restaurants.Every day's arrangement is included.

Every time when I see foreigners in Lijiang and Dali, usually they only appear in cafe or youth hotel with English outside. I understand how difficult for a foreigner who doesn't speak Chinese to go into a Chinese restaurant. But they will surely miss a lot delicious food and a lot of fun. I hope there is a way to solve it, so I think with a really detail traveling plan, which could tell you how to find the best restaurants, how to get to unbeknown places with best views, this problem might be solved.

Or maybe, people are more likely to accept a local guide to take them to local places? Do you think a pdf or paper guide is better, or a local guide is better?

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