Little Jetsetters: Chinese Travelers Take Their Kids Abroad at a Growing Rate

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A screenshot from the hit reality show Where are we Going, Dad?. The rate of Chinese travelers taking their kids abroad has skyrocketed this year. (Xinhua)

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As traveling with family remains a popular way for Chinese tourists to take trips, a new Ctrip study finds that the number of Chinese children traveling abroad surged by 82 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The online travel booking site’s recently released “Children Air Travel Report” finds that Chinese children have traveled to 132 different countries, with the average age decreasing—the percentage of children under the age of six heading abroad increased from 48 percent in the first quarter of 2015 to 51 percent this year.

According to the report, the surge in child travelers—which is much higher last year’s overall outbound Chinese tourist growth rate of 12 percent—is due in large part to a belief among post-70s and post-80s generation parents who believe international travel is an important form of education for children. In addition, the Chinese reality show Where are we Going, Dad?, which features celebrity dads taking their kids on trips around China and abroad, has become a massive hit.

While these youngsters are becoming increasingly cosmopolitan at a fast rate, parents are still opting mainly for short-haul trips rather than bringing their kids on 10-hour flights. The top 10 destinations seeing the most Chinese children are all in Asia, as Thailand, Japan, and South Korea are especially popular: in order, they are Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore, Phuket, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Chiang Mai, and Macau.

In addition to traveling with children, it’s also not uncommon for Chinese tourists to travel with multiple generations and extended family in tow. As an alternative to classic tour group travel, large family groups traveling abroad will often hire a private local Chinese-speaking guide. In order to appeal to Chinese travelers, hoteliers and shopping centers should have family-friendly services and be prepared to cater to these groups as they increase in number.

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