Popularity of travel surges among younger generation

Updated: Jul 30, 2019 Print
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Students gather for summer school in the UK. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Traveling abroad to experience different cultures has become popular for a surging number of Chinese during the two-month summer vacation, according to industry reports.

The growth has been most obvious in the country's third and fourth tier cities, especially in the north, with an increase of at least 50 percent in the number of outbound tourists from there, according to a recent report on outbound tourism released by Alibaba and its travel portal, Feizhu.

In comparison, big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai registered relatively slower growth.

Shanghai, which remains the country's top city for the number of outbound tourists this summer, witnessed 18 percent annual growth.

The surge in young tourists has also changed the popularity of some destinations. For example, a tour featuring the making of Harry Potter in London has enjoyed the fastest growth among Chinese tourists this summer. That was followed by The Sanctuary of Truth-an all-wood religious building in Thailand-and the Sagrada Familia, an unfinished Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain.

The young generation loves amusement parks, galleries and other places where they can experience local culture, rather than just shopping, the report said.

Statistics from online travel service Ctrip show that the generation born after 2000 accounted for 36 percent of tourists traveling abroad last summer, said Leng Shengbao, the operation manager of Ctrip.

"Based on ticket reservation data, most in the post-2000 generation choose Japan, Thailand and Singapore as their top destinations," Leng said.

As family wealth grows, parents are more willing to invest in tourism to provide extracurricular education for their children, Leng explained.

Many school-age children travel abroad by joining summer camps, according to Le Yi, the operation director of Weekend Hotels, an app for hotel reservations.

Le said she has taken her 6-year-old child to around 10 countries including Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. The family spends about 100,000 yuan (or $14,500) on travel each year, a situation Le said is common for other families around her.

"It is important to let the kid go somewhere and convert theoretical knowledge to personal experiences after reading all the cultural and historical background in books," Le said. "It definitely broadens their horizons and helps them to relax."

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