The Venetian merchant Marco Polo (1254-1324), is probably the most famous Westerner traveled on the Silk Road. He excelled all the other travelers in his determination, his writing, and his influence. His journey through Asia lasted 24 years. He reached further than any of his predecessors, beyond Mongolia to China. He traveled the whole of China and returned to tell the tale, which became the greatest travelogue.
The Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset recommended decades ago to Western countries prepare for the day when a Chinese pigtail peep from the Urals, marking the beginning of the dreaded yellow invasion.
After a long weekend in the enchanting city of Venice, I can no longer speak of a single ponytail but thousands and not in the Urals but in the heart of Europe. Chinese may feel attracted by the wonderful stories that Marco Polo told about the city. The truth is that the proportion of tourists in Piazza San Marco and the whole city was 99% of mainly Chinese and they are not coming with a dagger as Ortega y Gasset thought, but a wad of cash.
Lost dream of Western European tourists
Our European dream of the welfare state with retired people at 50+ years, pay for life and sightseeing at any time of year, or young couples visiting cities like Venice during romantic weekends because our wages and jobs would be durable and well paid, has vanished. Now they, the Chinese, are who seem to enjoy those privileges or as Western achievements. Do not ask me why and how their old Chinese tradition is changing so quickly.
Venice, only for Chinese Tourist in the future?
When I came back home, after a long weekend navigating the labyrinth narrow passageways and walking the silent alleways and sleeping piazzas of Venice, I changed my mind to write a post about how IoT Technology can be improve tourist stay in Venice for this most thoughtful post about how the horde of Chinese tourists will alter not only with their massive presence in the city, their money in local businesses but also with their technology in the future, the interest for the rest of tourism.
Note: I open a discussion “Venice: makes sense to invest in IoT to transform the city in smart? in the Smart Cities and City 2.0 Linkedin group with some interesting comments.
Will China export IoT technology to Venice to attract more Chinese tourists?
China is no longer a developing-nation market in which international companies compete only with one another. Chinese firms have been adept at mastering technologies and shaking up markets, often by offering low prices. Huawei, for example, in 2012 assumed the title of world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, previously held by Ericsson. Telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE and integrated IT firm Digital China compete directly against international firms such as Ericsson and Oracle. And a host of smaller firms, primarily manufacturers and software application providers, are targeting the smart city market.
Last year, the China National Tourism Administration announced “Beautiful China: 2014 Year of Smart Travel”. Given the ability that Chinese companies have shown for combine IoT technology with the development of the smart tourism industry, I can imagine that future of smart tourism in Venice and many other Western cities is going to come from China.
For additional info about IoT ion China you can visit: http://iotchina.net/
Internet of Things a teaser to attract other tourists to Venice?
In my post: Will Internet of Things be a teaser to attract more tourists to my city? I wrote that tourist traveling to smart cities expect the city will offer them experiences enabled by IoT.
The smart tourism in Venice should be an important part and a practical attempt of the smart city strategy that must follow to continue be attractive for all.
My experience in Venice was not good. The city after 1 day and half lost its charm and we were wasting our time waiting 24 hours more till our flight.
Internet of Things must play a crucial role into assist tourists visiting Venice. City managers must monitor tourism satisfaction and guarantee quality public services.
I can not agree more with the opinion of Harry de Quetteville:”Venice is a theme park”.
Having stayed at the Venetian in Las Vegas, when visiting the city, it is as though I was in one giant blockbuster exhibition.
Tourism is Venice’s lifeblood, but in my opinion thousands of Chinese tourists are actually “suffocating” the city.
My initial viewing of Venice, I felt a unique experience. It was only with the passage of the time when I noted that in a space so limited with the press of the Chinese crowds in the vaporettos, in San Marco, in Rialto, I began to change upon a vision more disturbing.
However, no matter how crowded Venice will be, it will remain a place that everybody wants to see at least once in their lives. Make smarter Venice will make we stay more days and enjoy our stay.
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