Chinese tourists enjoy camping trips during the May Day holidays. Photo: VCG
With the weeklong National Day holidays, which will start on October 1, approaching quickly, a new trend of tourism has emerged with young people seeking shorter, more flexible, and more unique experiences, data from multiple domestic online tourism platforms showed.
Since the Mid-Autumn Festival (September 10), bookings for National Day Golden Week holidays have seen over 30-percent daily growth, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by online tourism platform Trip.com.
New trends for how young people plan to spend their holidays with innovative tour modes are also emerging. For instance, frisbee, recreational vehicle (RV) camping, cycling and even autumn harvest themed tours have attracted attention among young people and families with children.
The number of online searches increased 50 percent for “one-day tour” themed around frisbee, and 74 percent for kayaking and 80 percent for cycling, according to data Trip.com sent to the Global Times.
A representative from a RV campsite named Yuyang in Pinggu District, Beijing, told the Global Times that its recreational vehicles are fully booked out for the Golden Week, with prices of different vehicles ranging from 2,688 yuan ($377) to 3,188 yuan per night.
Another RV campsite named TIPPI in Beijing’s Chaoyang District is still accepting reservation, but has a tight supply which is expected to be booked out in several days, an employee told the Global Times on Friday.
In addition to the innovative activities and leisure pursuits, orders for autumn harvest themed tours have become eye-catching as well, including activities such as lotus root digging, rice harvesting and fishing. Orders under this category on Trip.com have increased over 20 percent year-on-year.
As the last long holiday in 2022, the National Day holiday is expected to see a second wave of travel enthusiasm after the summer holiday, with short, high quality trips are dominating, Fang Zexi, an industry analyst from a research institute under the Trip.com, said in the statement.
“National Day holidays plus two days of annual leave, I can have a total of nine days off,” a Li-surnamed resident from Hefei, East China’s Anhui Province, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Due to the different epidemic prevention situation in different provinces, I plan to simplify my trip to one destination, and I would like to choose a destination that is not a typical tourist city so as to avoid large numbers of tourists, Li said. She has not picked a final destination yet.
According to domestic online travel platform Qunar, as of Thursday, hotel reservations for the Golden Week in “less popular cities” had increased 70 percent compared to 2020.
Hegang in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, Hanzhong in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, Karamay in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region topped the list for “niche travel destinations” among Chinese tourists, Qunar revealed.
Young people are the main driving force in the current tourism market, and their demand for tourism is not simply checking destination lists. They are in search of unique and niche scenic spots bring them special experiences, Huang Xiaojie, chief marketing officer of Qunar, said in a statement sent to the Global Times.
Tourism has been one of the hardest hit industries amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In order to adapt to the new situation in post-COVID era, industry players started to upgrade their services and seek new growth points, Jiang Yiyi, deputy head of the School of Leisure Sports and Tourism under the Beijing Sport University, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Tastes among the travelling public have changed too, with more tilting toward short-distanced trips within their cities or provinces, and more prefer to choose outdoor and social activities, such as frisbee games, which people could play with families and friends, Jiang noted.
Rural themed tourism has become more popular as well, especially for those well-reflected cultural characteristics, she added.
New innovative travel offerings not only boost the recovery of tourism industry, but can also promote the development of related equipment manufacturing industry, such as tents, Jiang said.
While traditional tourist destinations will recover over the long run, innovative choices will remain too, and become a great alternative to traditional tour products so as to boost the development of the nation’s tourism industry, experts said.