Pictureworks Holdings Sdn Bhd, positioned as Asia’s leading imaging solutions provider for theme parks and attractions, has announced a partnership with China-based smart tourism information solutions provider, Smart Guide Holding Group Ltd.
The move collaboratively widens both parties’ market outreach worldwide, diversifying their businesses into new territories and industries while promoting smart tourism in Malaysia, China and Southeast Asia.
Established in 2008, Pictureworks, through its proprietary imaging technology solution known as PictureAir, serves more than 30 theme parks and attractions in 14 countries. Pictureworks joined the PUC Bhd umbrella in June 2018, tapping on the latter’s platform to elevate its imaging services.
Smart Guide is the largest smart tourism information system provider in China, dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions and advancement to China’s smart tourism industry. It has expanded its services to 70% of China and parts of Southeast Asia, covering the Wudang Mountains, Mutianyu Great Wall, Tianshan Grand Canyon, Jinsha Site Museum, and over 180 tourist attractions.
This partnership allows Pictureworks to expand into the Chinese market by having Smart Guide promote PictureAir solutions throughout sightseeing destinations, tourist attractions, cultural and historical sites, and natural landmarks.
Coupled with its US-patented TouchClear technology incorporated into PictureAir, Pictureworks is working on complementing the platform with facial recognition technology to offer visitors a seamless experience in picture retrieval and easy purchase of photo products or personalised merchandise via WeChat Pay and Alipay in China.
The partnership also unlocks greater business opportunities whereby Pictureworks and Smart Guide can jointly expand into the media and advertising space, authorising Smart Guide to promote and sell advertisement spaces available on the PictureAir website and mobile app via a profit sharing model.
Group Chief Executive Officer of Pictureworks, Johnny Loke highlights that while PictureAir solutions have predominantly been used in theme parks and amusement parks to date, the partnership offers Pictureworks instant reach to new territories covering well known tourist attractions and sightseeing destinations, particularly in China and Southeast Asia.
Loke further shares, “We intend to grow our business to the next level. Apart from venturing into new territories, we also focus on driving the PictureAir imaging solution licensing business to site operators, allowing them to have better control in their imaging service offerings.
Pictureworks can then lower its operation-related costs by cutting down site operations for photography and imaging services. The spared capacity allows us to focus on upcoming expansion plans as well as research and development initiatives to further unlock Pictureworks’ potential.”
Bringing Smart Tourism System to Malaysia
Through the conditional partnership, Smart Guide also appoints Pictureworks as its sole and exclusive distributor of its revolutionary smart guide system, “TOME”, in Malaysia.
TOME effectively provides integrated tourism information support such as story-telling, route planning, and emergency help requests to visitors. It also features RFID based positioning, safety insurance and group management, which will be helpful to the tour guides and management teams of scenic sites.
Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of Smart Guide, David Lee points out, “In response to the China National Tourism Administration’s initiative of digitalising the country’s tourism sector, we have emerged as the fastest growing business within the smart tourism industry.”
“Tapping on Pictureworks’ network channels and local market understanding, we expect Smart Guide to achieve another milestone by expanding into Malaysia, providing tourists a fun, smart and easy-going sightseeing experience outside of China. Upon this mutually beneficial partnership, we will also be able to enhance our existing product and offerings with PictureAir solutions to our existing clientele,” Lee adds.
The TOME distribution agreement was signed between Pictureworks (M) Sdn Bhd and Smart Guide, whereas the partnership promoting PictureAir was entered into between Pictureworks (Shanghai) Ltd and Zhejiang Smart Guide Information Technology Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Smart Guide.