● Chinese Family Travel Market Looms Large: “Three-child policy set to further boost China’s booming family travel.” This across-the-top-of-the-page headline in a recent China Travel News article on the growing importance of family travel makes its point with a treasure trove of data and charts that area very convincing. They also buttress the opinion of those who are marketing to Chinese travelers that interest by families in “outdoorsy” product is high.
This and other points are noted in a report put out by Tencent-backed online travel company Tongcheng-Elong that focused on family travel in China in 2020 and related trends for the future.
Some of the information bytes one ought to digest from the report include the following:
—In the first half of this year, spending on family travel increased by 41 percent year-on-year.
—According to the seventh national population census conducted last year, there were 253 million children aged 14 or below in China—a 17.95 percent of the population and 1.35 percentage points higher than in 2010.
—The increase in the number of children aged 14 or younger reflects the potential for the growth of family travel.
—Summer was prime season for family travel
—Although long-haul trips catering for families with children aged 12 and younger declined 13.8 percent in 2020 compared to pre-Covid levels, long-haul family trips taken in July and August as well as January had shown peak demand.
—Despite the impact of the pandemic, local family trips started recovering since the second quarter of 2020 and peaked in August and October
—Consumers born in the 1980s and 1990s (aged between 22 and 41) became the major force for family travel, accounting for 44.8 percent and 29.5 percent of the travelers. As a second child was allowed in the 1970s, there was a relatively high proportion of family travel in certain age segments in the age range of age 42 to 51.
—Travelers aged between 22 and 41 were more fashion and quality oriented, which also pushed the family travel market toward diversification and high quality. Tongcheng-Elong’s data showed that while typical family rooms in hotels remained the most popular accommodations, alternative accommodations such as log cabins, tree houses, tents and RVs were also gaining popularity. (Read the complete article here.)
● Fire up the Barbie—for Chinese Visitors: Does this sound like a scene from Beijing? Families are barbecuing beside their tents at a campsite. The children, who have spent the day playing outdoors, help their parents with dinner by passing them food to place on the grill. But in suburban Beijing?
Take note, U.S. travel suppliers interested in offering an itinerary to Chinese visitors in the wake of the global pandemic, in which outdoors activities are expected to be a sought-after component of a Chinese traveler’s holiday in the USA.
For many Chinese parents, the outdoor barbecue, along with other activities outside, has become increasingly popular. It is a chance to break free from urban responsibilities and get close to nature with their children.
A recently released survey report from Trip.com Group showed that the expenditure on trips by Chinese families in the first half of 2021 has increased by 41 percent from the same period last year, with a surge in camping and outdoor activities.
Not something that have appeared in surveys of Chinese travel intentions in the past, camping and outdoor activities are considered by many parents consider camping to be a great opportunity for children to experience the outdoors and develop skills, curiosity and courage.
In a China Daily article on the phenomenon, Zhao Yihong, a mother in Beijing, said that her son still
recalls their trip to Guangzhou Chimelong Safari Park in Guangdong province two years ago, when they camped in a tent outside the glasshouse of pandas.
For Xiang Yan, a Beijing citizen, camping allows for more freedom and is more slow-paced compared with other types of family trip. He took a camping holiday in early May and is already planning a second one. “Many young parents also consider camping a break for themselves,” he says.
The trend is more evident in larger cities. According to Trip.com statistics, family bookings for camping in and around Shanghai increased by 206 percent in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2019, while the number of campsites around first- and second-tier cities account for over half of those in the whole country. Click here for the complete article.
● Chinese spoken here: What every professional in international tourism already knew—Chinese is an official UN language. In an interview with the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said that its recent decision to adopt Chinese as one of its official languages reflects China’s growing importance in the world tourism market.
Pololikashvili said that “China is playing an increasingly significant role in the global tourism sector,” adding that China “is a top destination in its own right and, prior to the pandemic, had established itself as the number one source market for international tourists. Including Chinese as one of UNWTO’s official languages ensures the increased participation of China in our organization’s work, reflecting the significance of the country to global tourism.”
According to Pololikashvili, the addition of Chinese “means the UNWTO now has all six official languages of the United Nations in alignment with the UN’s objective of promoting multilingualism and good communication between nations and peoples.” The six languages are now Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. He explained that the large numbers of Chinese tourists “help support jobs and businesses” throughout the world. Click here for the complete article.