Hangzhou enhances experience for tourists with luggage service reform
Published: Jul 10, 2024 09:50 PM
People visit the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Museum in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province on June 12, 2024. Photo: Xinhua

People visit the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Museum in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province on June 12, 2024. Photo: Xinhua

As summer tourism peaks, one perennial hassle for travelers, especially foreign visitors, has been how to deal with the burden of luggage upon arrival. Addressing this challenge head-on, Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, has purposed an initiative to enhance the tourist experience with its "One-stop Luggage Service" reform.

Arriving at a destination and immediately setting off to go sightseeing without first detouring to a hotel to drop off bags has long been a dream for travelers. Hangzhou's initiative aims to make this a reality. 

Currently, airports and train stations typically offer luggage storage, but retrieving bags often entails a return trip, adding both time and extra transport costs. Some local shops around tourist spots also provide storage, but their scattered locations, varying fees, and security concerns often leave travelers reluctant to part with their belongings.

The reform focuses on two primary aspects: expanding luggage storage facilities in popular areas and establishing a comprehensive luggage service network citywide. These measures directly respond to the precise needs of travelers for convenient luggage handling.

On one hand, increasing the number of storage points in Hangzhou expands coverage, reducing travelers' need to wander. Particularly near popular attractions and commercial areas, setting up more luggage storage facilities allows visitors to securely store belongings upon entering and retrieve them upon exiting. 

Foreign tourists can take advantage of these additional storage options, especially those near popular attractions and commercial districts, effortlessly depositing their luggage without concern for safety or convenience. They can directly enter scenic spots or shopping areas without first returning to hotels to drop off luggage, saving time and energy to fully immerse themselves in sightseeing and shopping.

Moreover, Hangzhou integrates storage and logistics, allowing luggage to "move" along with tourists' itineraries independently. This integrated service simplifies procedures, reduces language and cultural barriers for foreign visitors, enhancing the smooth and pleasant travel experience for foreign tourists in China.

Hangzhou's measures underscore the customer-centric trend in the tourism industry. Cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen are also exploring improved luggage storage and logistics services. Shanghai has announced 232 cultural and tourist venues offering storage services, underscoring the competition to cater to travelers' evolving needs.

For example, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism announced that most tourist spots in the city will no longer require reservations starting from June 20, requiring all tourist attractions to provide high-quality cultural and tourism experiences. 

During the summer season, they should install additional sun and rain shelters (such as umbrellas), shaded rest areas, and seating to prevent heatstroke. Temporary restrooms should be added according to summer visitor flow, and more cleaning staff should be deployed to increase the frequency of cleaning and garbage removal. 

Following Beijing's announcement that it was ending reservation requirements at tourist spots to benefit tourism, other cities, including Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu Province, have also joined the trend, with an aim to "enhance basic service quality at summer tourist attractions." 

The "One-stop Luggage Service" reform and the cancellation of reservation requirements are not just the service innovation but also a transformation in tourism services. It reminds us that enhancing the attractiveness of tourist destinations should start from addressing the practical needs of travelers, focusing on the details of tourism, and comprehensively upgrading the tourism experience.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.