Global travel becoming the 'normal' for more families
Updated: 2015-10-01 09:21
By Wang Wen and Xue Chaohua in Lanzhou(China Daily)
Jiang said for many Chinese people, regular international travel has become a norm, more than a treat.
"Outbound tourism is just another daily consumption for some Chinese residents, no matter whether they live in big cities or small ones," she said.
Cheng Weimin, general manager of Jiangxi Overseas Tourist Corporation, a State-owned travel agency in the province, however, says the biggest hurdle still existing for residents of smaller cities traveling abroad is the relatively narrow capability of local travel agencies.
Many still have to cooperate with larger agencies in bigger cities as they can only offer relatively few overseas destinations, especially in Europe and the US, said Cheng.
The added effort needed to travel to hub cities, and then onto faraway destinations, is also a major consideration for China's growing international travelers.
"We gave up on my original plan to go to the United States this year," said Zhang Yun, a 28-year old female doctor living in Lanzhou, Gansu province, who was planning to travel with her elderly parents, "as there were no direct flights from the city to the US.
"The cost was too much for that added travel, so we decided to go to Thailand instead."
Jiang Yiyi, from China Tourism Academy, remains confident, however, more direct international routes will be introduced in coming years, as domestic and foreign airlines and online travel agencies pay closer attention to the small-city market.
Yu Dunde, CEO of Tuniu.com, a listed online travel agency, said departures from second-tier cities are already contributing strongly to its total bookings and expects more second and third-tier cities to be included in its future offerings.