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[Litchi News] Ma Liang: Being tourists and citizens’ favor, Chongqing government’s move is quite feasible.

During the National holidays, Chongqing as the Internet-famous city, welcomed a peak of tourists. The Internet-famous tourist attractions such as Hongya Cave and crossing-the-building trains were crowded with people. In order to make a room for tourists, Chongqing Public Security Bureau and Municipal Culture and Tourism Committee had repeatedly bombarded local citizens with text messages, calling on them to travel at shifting time and to go less to the downtown areas.

Tourists were flattered by such persuasive messages from government department. Everyone felt intimate to Chongqing and applauded the action of local tourism. In doing so, government also got fantastic replies from Chongqing citizens. Most of the citizens expressed their kind support, and some of them responded government department with funny text messages.

Recently, the Chongqing Public Security Bureau has sent another short message to thank the citizens for their understanding, support and cooperation during the National Day. The text is not long, but sincere. Citizens say that they feel warm about the thank-you texts from government department, and some even respond with funny text messages. Thus, the government and the public have achieved full and effective communication, which resolves the potential contradictions in the peak season of tourism.

Being tourists and citizens’ favor, Chongqing government’s move is quite feasible. For many tourist cities, public holidays are often “nightmares” for local residents. A large number of tourists flocked to the city, causing not only traffic congestion, but also the increasing price of food, accommodation, shopping and other inconveniences. Government department should take good care of tourists in order to sustain the development of tourism economy; in the meantime, they also need to take into account the immediate needs of local residents so that the prominent internal and external contradictions can be solved.

Chongqing Government strives for the understanding and cooperation of local residents through warm text messages to create a better tourist environment for tourists. The local people are also empathetic and cooperative. They are aware that all visitors are guests and consumers for the development of Chongqing tourism, more importantly, that they themselves will also have the chance to become tourists in other cities. Putting in other’s shoes, people all hope that the citizens of other cities can create an excellent environment for tourists.

At the same time, the industrial development and financial revenue brought by tourism are also conducive to creating employment opportunities, enabling government to devote more financial resources to people’s livelihood, so that the better life of local residents in the future can be guaranteed. Therefore, it is actually a good thing for each other to make way for tourists from other places during the peak period of tourism----a good thing that brings long-term happiness through short-term pain.

Certainly, it is not enough to rely solely on the unilateral efforts of government. Local residents’ understanding, cooperation and support are also required. Only by strengthening, innovating and optimizing the communication between the government and the people and resolving the contradictions between the short-term and the long-term, internal and external through their interactions, can we achieve a closer government-citizens relationship.

In the Internet era, government departments should, on one hand, recognize the importance and challenges of continuous and effective communication with the public, and build up a public-government bridge with a more people-friendly attitude, a more lovely way and more appropriate feedback. On the other hand, the public should actively communicate with the government departments to provide suggestions for them to find out the exact service needs and “pain spots”, and jointly promote the continuous improvement of government services and various public services.

In the meantime, such interactions between the government and the people has also injected vitality into building the city image and upgrading the city level, making it more attractive to tourists, talents and investments. This series of moves by Chongqing government may be unintentional, but actually, it activates the mentality of tourists and citizens, which shows the importance and value of such government-citizens interactions. In other words, this kind of interaction is never too much, but too little.

Of course, if Chongqing government can further improve the means of communication, with the help of macro-data accurate identification and other ways, through personalized and customized way to push messages, it may achieve more effective results. For example, for outsiders, car owners, etc., different types of information need to be pushed. Therefore, it is advisable to further improve its policy advocacy work through citizens’ feedback, and thus promote the interaction between the government and the people.

This series of moves in Chongqing has set an example for other cities. We also expect that more and more cities can do a good job in policy communication and propaganda. When the government and its people are closer, making more communication and holding more consensuses, we are not far away from good governance and a better life.

Ma Liang, Research Fellow at National Academy of Development and Strategy, Professor of the School of Public Administration, Renmin University of China.

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