Myanmar’s weird capital tells us about the future of travel.
Naypyidaw is one of the strangest capitals in the world. The 10-year-old city is a 20-lane highway, a sprawling maze of government compounds and downy apartments.
One visitor described it as “a chilling picture of the end of the American suburbs.” Another visitor is more outspoken, calling it “the worst place you’ve ever been.”
In terms of entertainment, there aren’t too many: a gemstone museum, several golf courses, a zoo. The most striking is the city’s most popular attractions, Uppatasanti pagoda, in a popular tourist site has received four of the five star star, nearly half of the critics call it as “excellent”.
Standing more than 300 feet tall, the glittering tower looks like an ancient miracle. Although the Uppatasanti pagoda is an impressive building – especially when night falls under a dark blue sky, this magnificent building is a facade.
No wonder the ancient world; It was completed in early 2009, some of which were said to have been built by children, and some were only seven or eight years old. This is almost a replica of the famous pagoda built in the former capital, yangon, in the 14th century.
In fact, the jewel in the crown of naypyidan is just the artificial heart of a city that is spiritually dead, and is a crude and crude memorial to a barbaric military regime.
And… Those colors, contrast, that image. This is – I dare say – Instagram is worth it.
But due to the recent research has shown that the social media content and Shared the image how important for planning travel, for those who want to attract visitors to the destination, an important question arises: a place to look is more important than what place is?
A surface deep destination.
A few years ago, I went to Guyana and suriname – South America, two small and I almost don’t know where – research for my book, to explore the spread of the guide material, including through social media provides the information explosion, changed the way we see the world.
But last year, when I travel in myanmar, through the Kindle in use to learn about how to adapt to the country large Numbers of tourists and investments, I began to think about the influence of social media, not only is the way we travel and visit.
Although Uppatasanti pagoda on the surface of the deep attraction show that my initial hypothesis may be true – a place that looks like a place – the tensions actually becomes more important than the most obvious one of the most popular tourists destinations, bagan, an ancient temples and pagodas in naypyidaw to the northwest of hours of vast plains.
The debate is about tourism officials, who hope to increase travel to myanmar by turning bagan into one of the best tourist destinations in the world. They repaired the building, built hotels and improved access to the area.
Protectionist and archaeologists, on the other hand, in the past 20 years have seen dozens of horror and dilapidated pagoda, many of which are built in the 11th century and 13th century, has been quickly and systematically rebuild, almost no consideration to their original form. An archaeologist quoted in 2006 as saying: “they are doing the reconstruction based on complete fantasy… It completely wiped out the historical records there.”
But more pagodas lead to more pictures. Nothing seems to frighten tourism officials, just as tourists do not have photographs. When Burma’s ministry of culture has banned visitors climbed some of the biggest buildings, to block their access bagan everywhere “sunset”, the country’s tourism vice minister insisted that the ban will be “serious impact on tourism. He learned that “the long-term preservation of the pagoda… The ban should not be implemented before another viewing location is implemented.
The tourism officials won. The injunction was rolled back, and the picture went on.
Less than a year later, the issue was forced again. An earthquake in August 2016 caused major damage to nearly 400 bagan temples, including Shwesandaw pagoda, the most popular sunset spot in the area. This time, instead of allowing visitors to climb the crumbling staircase, a new solution was proposed, including the creation of an elevated observation deck at a nearby lake.
Save the pagoda, of course. But more importantly, save the photo operation.
The impact of social media on tourism.
Why is this important?
Travel scholars have identified social media content – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other posts – that have an impact on travelers’ pre-planning processes. This is what media people call “moneymaking media”, the free publicity generated by tourists and eager to share their experiences.
If the news is positive (the winning media has an unfortunate tendency to backfire), it is very effective and enhances the “brand” of the consumer’s destination. (Nielsen media research firm Nielsen) found that people trust “the recommendation of the people I know,” not just edit content, online consumers, or paid television, newspapers and online advertising.
So when someone turns to Facebook or Twitter or memories of them to share their recent vacations, and using the tag # Bagan, update this post is not only a person, and is the airlines, hotels and travel agencies effective propaganda tool. Travel companies connect to specific locations.
To go further, many of these researchers cite the influence of visual images on social media. Those who plan to take a vacation often look at pictures and video for inspiration from other people’s trips. There is no shortage of photos to choose from. One study found that holidaymakers who recently went to mallorca, Spain, were twice as likely to share albums or video on Facebook than to write an online comment. They are four times more likely to post photos than online blogs or journals.
Of course, some of these can be attributed to these networks that allow us to easily share our images: capture, filter, upload, and repeat. It was suggested that the form of words had been taken – “this place is amazing!” Instead, it is now spread through a ruthless lens.
As these social networks grow, Facebook has more than 1 billion users a day, Instagram more than 300 million, Snapchat more than 100 million, and the world’s collective albums only increase. It is estimated that nearly 3 billion images are uploaded to the Internet each day on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. This is a lot of machu picchu.
So what should all these photos do? For the tourist industry, the implications are clear: make your destination Instagram worth it and watch the media/visitors streaming in.
But for travelers, the message is more of a warning: stay alert to the destinations deep in the ground.