Showing posts with label Smartphones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smartphones. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Digital trends through the lenses of tourist photographers

With the introduction of technology in developing countries, many professionals have had to change the way they cater to customers. In Phnom Penh (Cambodia), photographers express their woes regarding the introduction of smartphones. However, many tourist photographers remain hopeful that their profession will stand the test of time.

At around 1pm, under a sunny sky, street photographer Heng Leng prints out pictures he has taken of some tourists from his portable printer in front of the Royal Palace.

Local and international tourists usually visit the Royal Palace around this time to enjoy the scenery while the sun is shining and the air is cool. Some tourists tend to take their own photographs, while others enlist the services of photographers such as Mr Leng.

The 60-year-old Phnom Penh resident says demands for his services have plummeted after technology has made it easier for people to take photos.

“Due to the digital era and with people using their smartphones to take photographs, we face challenges such as the reduction of our income, but Royal Palace photographers will not be losing,” Mr Leng says.

With rising technological challenges, it is not clear whether tourist photographers are able to sustain their profession and their livelihoods, especially when young Cambodians are now able to take selfies.

Mr Leng says most of his customers are local tourists from the provinces.
“There are challenging issue now because it’s not like the time when people had no smartphones, like when people had Nokia phones without a camera. Back then we were able to earn a lot of income,” he says. “However, the trade itself will not be lost because we have side jobs as wedding and ceremony photographers.”

“Even if everyone owns a smartphone, they will not be able to take moving photos of couples and children,” he adds. “We are only worried about our reduced income. The job of a photographer will never disappear.”

Almost every day, Mr Leng stands in front of the Royal Palace on Sisowath Quay boulevard, along the riverside. Here he smiles upon incoming travellers, speaks to people who stop by and take their pictures.

He says a nice photo of tourists in front of the Royal Palace can earn him up to $2.50. Per month, Mr Leng says he can earn up to $500.

“Sometimes, if there’s a big event like the Water Festival, or a graduation ceremony, I can earn up to between $50 and $100 per day,” he says.

According to a report by Open Institution, an NGO that focuses on tech development, in 2016, 96 percent of Cambodians had their own phones, with more than 99 percent were able to be reached with a device. In its report, the NGO says the proportion of citizens using more than one phone was 13 percent, while one in four uses more than one service provider.

The data in the report also shows that Cambodians are becoming more and more tech-savvy when it comes to their smartphones.

In its 2015 report, 76 percent of Cambodians own phones with Khmer script features. The number jumped by 21 percent when compared to the previous year.

According to the 2016 report, 48 percent of Cambodians had access to the internet, and that five out of six people had Facebook accounts. It noted that only three percent of Cambodians accessed Facebook solely through their computers, while 80 percent accessed Facebook exclusively on their phones.

To 30 percent of responders, Facebook became the most important source of information, surpassing TV and almost doubling radio.

According to Open Institution’s 2016 report, smartphone penetration of the market began in 2013. Before long, smartphone users became a vast majority of people who accessed the internet. By 2015, a third of Cambodia’s population was accessing information on the internet mostly via their smartphones.

“Phones have also become an important communication and service-provision tool for civil society organisations and government agencies,” the report said.

Back at the Royal Palace, Mr Leng is taking a photo of a beautiful family hailing from Kandal province. The father, 30-year-old Sun Lyna, says there are now more photographers in offering their services, despite the high number of people who now own a smartphone.

“Even if there are a lot of smartphone owners, people still want to have their pictures taken by the experts,” Mr Lyna says. “I too am used to using a smartphone, but I still want pictures taken by photographers because it reminds me of the past.”

“If we took a photo with our smartphone, we would only be able to see it on a small screen,” he adds. “But if we had a photographer, then he would be able to immediately print and frame the photo so we can place it in our home.”

Soum Srey Muoy, a 24-year-old university student from Kampong Speu province, says photographers are invaluable to Cambodians because most people like to have their picture taken by experts.

“Photographers are skilled and have good cameras to take pictures. The results tend to be better than that of a smartphone, so the profession will not be lost,” Ms Srey Muoy says. “Some people want to take larger resolution photos in front of the Royal Palace so that it can be framed and displayed at home for all to see.”

Nuth Narong, a 54-year-old photographer, stands beneath the statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk near the Independence Monument. Mr Narong says despite the popularity of smartphones, a lot of people still demand his service.

“Yes, it might disappear in the future because people like using smartphones to take selfies instead of hiring a photographer,” Mr Narong says. “But those who want physical photos still demand the services of a professional.”

Mr Narong, who has been taking photos since he was a four-year-old boy in Oddar Meanchey province, says photography is a passion of his that could never be obsolete.

“I love this photography job because it’s easy to earn money,” he says. “I can earn $30 by just taking a single photo.”
Street photographer
Mr Leng says he acknowledges the fact that the digital era is here and that changes are needed to be made to the way he conducts business.

He says that even at his age, he has embraced technology by equipping himself with the recent DSLR and mirrorless cameras. He also has a portable printer that can be used on short demand.

“Now every photographer has their own printer for their pictures,” Mr Leng says. “We can print photos on demand, where as in the past, we had to find a print shop – and that took a long time.”

He says that what attract customers the most are beautiful landscapes and fitting backgrounds. He says it is easy for customers to enlist his service.

“When they look to us, it usually means that they want a picture taken,” Mr Leng says. “Or we come to them asking if they wanted a picture taken.”

He adds that with a $1,000 smartphone, quality pictures can be taken, but it doesn’t mean that his profession will be lost.

Mr Leng says photography is an art and that it takes years to develop and eye for the capturing the right moments.

He even says there are some disadvantages to using a smartphone.

“Pictures stored in a phone’s memory card can be lost sometimes if they’re not printed,” Mr Leng says. “People would need to physically show photos on their phones.”

“And now, with the celebration of the King’s birthday, many customers demand a photographer,” he adds. “There are some 50 photographers who can take your next Royal Palace photos.”

Source - KhmerPost

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Line's adventure park to make global debut in #Bangkok

Line Village Bangkok says it will open a Line Village merchandise store on Friday before fully opening its doors in the capital's Siam Square at a cost of 500 million baht (US$14.7 million). ( File) 

 The world's first indoor adventure park featuring friend characters of Japan's immensely popular messaging app provider Line Corp. will open later this year in Bangkok.

Line Village Bangkok says it will open a Line Village merchandise store on Friday before fully opening its doors in the capital's Siam Square at a cost of 500 million baht ($14.7 million).

The adventure park will showcase the houses of Line sticker characters -- Brown, Cony, Moon, James, Boss and Choco -- as well as photo shoot spots and digital games.

 It anticipates 12 million visitors a year. Ticket prices will be around 800 baht. Kampanart Wonghongkul, chief executive officer of Fire Dragon International Co., says his Thai firm has been granted a license by Line Friends Corp., a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based messaging app company, to run the amusement facility. He expressed hope that Line Village will become a new tourist attraction in Bangkok.

According to Line Thailand, the Southeast Asian country is its second-largest market after Japan as more than 94 percent of Thais using mobile internet are Line users. 

 Read also: LINE introduces WAVE, its first smart home device

Source - TheJakartaPost

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Cash Will No Longer Be Accepted for Tax Payments in #Laos

According to the Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Douangdy, several new systems have been installed to ensure tax payments can be processed through banking systems and digital technologies, allowing government tax officers to relinquish receiving tax payments in cash directly from taxpayers.
Addressing questions raised by people’s representatives, Mr Somdy gave a briefing on the methods and measures in managing revenue collection, that have been devised and implemented by the ministry to prevent revenue leakage and maintain that applicable regulations are obeyed.
As of 2016, the Ministry of Finance has developed custom and tax payment instruments to ensure entrepreneurs can pay customs and taxes conveniently. 
These include Smart tax, Smart VAT, which can be used to settle tax payment when passing border checkpoints, and other bank-based tax payment systems.
The ministry is currently working on expanding several technologies to make it more convenient to pay taxes and fees through ATMs and smartphones, preventing tax officers from directly receiving taxes in cash.
The ministry is increasing revenue sources,  suggesting entrepreneurs to inspect bookkeeping, installing tax devices, promoting cash registration at hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and establishing a revenue management database.
These revenue source expansion endeavors are funded with a soft loan from the Republic of Korea and will take around two years to complete.
source - Laotiontimes

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Bali regency of Klungkung launches app for #tourists

To commemorate the 109th anniversary of Puputan Klungkung, Klungkung regency in Bali has launched a smartphone app for tourists.
The Android-based app, called Klungkung Tourism, features information on tourist destinations, accommodation, places to eat and public services that may help tourists during their trip.
 On the homepage of the app, users find some listicles on places to go, as well as category options like Beach & Nature, Art & Culture, Temple, Museum and Event & Festival; each accompanied by photos and details about the place and GPS navigation. “Tourists can comment on and give likes to destinations featured on the app, which we will evaluate later,” said Klungkung Regent I Nyoman Suwirta.
The app also acts as a platform for locals to market their businesses, “The local people can use it to promote their businesses, whether they are related to the tourism industry or micro, small and medium enterprises located in Klungkung,” added Suwirta.
Source - TheJakartapost

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Cambodia - BigPhone dials into local market

A man browses Facebook on his smartphone in Phnom Penh.
 Mobile World Investment Corp (MWG) – one of the largest mobile phone and electronic products distribution chains in Vietnam – will open its first store in Cambodia, operating under the name, according to Vietnamese state media.
Construction on the first 150- to 200-square-metre store in Phnom Penh is nearly completed and the branch is expected to open this quarter, Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The English-language news outlet quoted MWG director-general Tran Kinh Doanh as saying Cambodia was the first market for the company’s regional expansion, which will also see stores opened in Myanmar and Laos.
“Cambodia was chosen to be the first country for the group to approach in Indochina,” he said.
Established in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014, MWG is a fast-growing retail chain for mobile phones and digital devices, including mobile phones, tablets and accessories. It operates a network of stores as well as an online channel.
MWG (Cambodia) Co Ltd registered with Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce last October. The company’s Vietnamese directors could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A study on cellphone and internet use in Cambodia published last year by the Asia Foundation revealed that the Kingdom’s market was already heavily saturated. Over 94 percent of Cambodians claimed to own their own phone handset, with nearly 40 percent of those surveyed claiming to have at least one smartphone.
Bung Hor, CEO of T-Shop, a Phnom-Penh based electronics products distributor with eight branches, said yesterday that demand for mobile phones and accessories had grown significantly with deepening smartphone penetration. 

He said the rising demand had driven his company’s expansion, and he was confident there was still room in the market for new retailers of mobile phones and their accessories.
“There are more and more competitors while the demand is also higher,” he said.
Source - PhnomPenhPost