Summer is expected to heat up the tourism market

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A group of young people take part in a fun run to celebrate their high school graduation in Wuhan, Hubei province on June 11.
CHENG YING/FOR CHINA DAILY

College and college grads looking online for fun times nationwide

Domestic tourism is expected to heat up this summer, fueled by strong demand from college or college graduate students, and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on interprovincial leisure travel.

From June 6 to 9, Ctrip saw searches for “graduation trips” jump more than 300% week-on-week, the online travel agency said. On June 9, the national university entrance exam ended in most parts of the country.

Cities with multiple colleges and universities, such as Wuhan in Hubei province, Chengdu in Sichuan province and Dalian in Liaoning province, were among the cities sending the most graduates to tourist destinations, according to Ctrip.

Preferences among student travelers varied, according to data from Ctrip. Students graduating from high school have expressed interest in traveling to cities where their dream colleges are located, such as Beijing, Nanjing in Jiangsu province and Guangzhou in Guangdong province.

In contrast, students finishing college prefer a long-haul trip as a way to mark the end of their student life. Tibet Autonomous Region, Yunnan Province, Gansu Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were among the destinations that received the most requests from college graduates on Ctrip.

“With the conclusion of the national college entrance examination, as well as the approaching summer and graduation season, more and more young people and families with children are eager to get out,” Fang said. Zeqian, an industry analyst at the Ctrip research institute. Beijing-based Consumption Daily, June 9.

Ctrip’s recent business growth points to a summer rebound, driven by the resumption of inter-provincial group travel in most parts of the country, the improving COVID-19 situation and political support, Fang said.

Zhao Wenzhi, president of Guangzhou-based travel service GZL, told local newspaper Information Times on Monday that the country will see two peaks in graduation trips before the official start of summer vacation.

One started after the National College Entrance Examination was completed and will end before the examination results are released. The other will start after the high school entrance exam ends in late June and end before the start of summer vacation, according to Zhao.

“Thanks to the continued improvement of the COVID-19 situation in the country and more targeted COVID-19 policies on inter-provincial tourism, the 2022 graduation season is expected to exceed that of 2020 and 2021 in the variety of destinations and tour packages available for graduates,” he said.

On May 31, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism updated its COVID-19 policies on inter-provincial pleasure travel. It requires travel agencies to suspend interprovincial group travel services in county-level areas with medium or high infection risk.

Previously, the restriction applied to provincial-level regions. The shrinking of the perimeter is seen as a boon for the recovery of tourism.

Fresh graduates know how to have fun in the summer heat – most tourist attractions they have booked on Ctrip are water parks and theme parks.

The post-2000 generation is also no stranger to road trips. Car rental bookings for June and July made by graduates via Ctrip increased by more than 50% compared to the previous two months.

Tour operators have introduced tailor-made graduation travel packages for young vacationers.

Travel service GZL offers inter-provincial trips, most of which are to neighboring provinces, and intra-provincial trips, most of which are themed around beaches and hot springs, Information Times reported.

To bolster its appeal to younger generations, GZL has incorporated tours of popular social media attractions and photography tours into its packages. During these tours, tourists, usually in costume, have their pictures taken in local settings by professional photographers.

Guangdong China Travel Service has launched a picnic and camping package for 20 people, which includes camping in a forest, barbecue and fun activities, according to Information Times.

Some attractions also hold live role-playing, role-playing and murder mystery games, or jubensha in Chinese, which have captured the hearts of many young vacationers.

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