And, if you want to spend more, there are trophy killing vacations elsewhere.
For wealthy Chinese travelers who believe they’ve seen everything on their travels, it appears that the world outside China has some places they haven’t seen—places that allow patrons to handle weapons of all sorts and to engage in hunting expeditions that enable them to shoot and kill live prey.
Sixth Tone, an esoteric website* that publishes in-depth articles on a wide range of subjects about China, recently introduced its readers to a new subset of Chinese travelers looking for new experiences who have found one that features visits to U.S. sites that enable them to do something they would not be allowed to do in China—handle and shoot firearms. (For the complete article, visit: http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1002071/the-gun-loving-chinese-tourists-hunting-for-new-thrills. But be advised: the article contains some photos of animal carcasses that some might find disturbing.)
The focus is first on a young tour company, Joy One World (INBOUND was unable to find its website or any source material in English) that was founded in 2016 by Ge Lu, a 31-year-old entrepreneur who had been fascinated by guns growing up—seeing them being used in movies and in video games—and who eventually made her way to destinations worldwide in which she would visit shooting ranges.
Then she visited Texas and found a place where she could hunt wild boar. Fast forward the story to the present, after Ge, with the cooperation of an unidentified tour operator in Texas, started her tour company, Joy One World, which offers hunting trips and gun experiences to Chinese travelers in cooperation with a U.S.-based tour company. An 11-day tour package, including gun practice and both night and helicopter hunting, costs a guest $20,000.
The type of patron who purchases such a tour varies, but the profile seems to be a well-to-do 35-to-50-year-old male who has done everything and is looking for a new experience. Since handling a gun and shooting prey is something almost no one in China does, the “lock-and-load” itinerary seems to satisfy the yearning of such travelers.
But There Are Other Destinations, too: For those who can bear the discomfiture, the Sixth Tone article describes hunting forays by other wealthy Chinese which feature a photo of a hunter and his polar bear carcass and another of the male hunter with a dead giraffe, whose head and neck are draped over his shoulder. It all makes for some pretty bracing reading, as well as a window into a market sub-segment that we were not aware of until we saw the Sixth Tone article.
* Sixth Tone (www.sixthtone.com) is a Shanghai-based news site that describes itself thus: “There are five tones in Mandarin Chinese. When it comes to coverage of China, Sixth Tone believes there is room for other voices that go beyond buzzwords and headlines to tell the uncommon stories of common people. Through fresh takes on trending topics, in-depth features, and illuminating contributions, Sixth Tone covers issues from the perspectives of those most intimately involved to highlight the nuances and complexities of today’s China. We are a team of writers, editors, and researchers from within China and abroad. We belong to Shanghai United Media Group, and share our offices with our sister publication, The Paper.”