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Beijing smog triggers “smog-free tour” spree

(People's Daily Online)    17:44, December 30, 2015
Beijing smog triggers “smog-free tour” spree
Tourists line up at the Louvre in Paris.

Tour agencies in Beijing have seen an increase in tourists choosing smog-free locations for their vacation destinations, especially since the forecast shows that the city might be cloaked in smog again during the New Year vacation, Beijing Youth Daily reported Wednesday.

The capital city has been hit by smog quite frequently in recent days, which also triggers an increase in online searches for "smog-free tours."

A spokesperson for Ctrip, China’s leading travel agency, said that smog-free tours are very popular among those preparing for New Year and Spring Festival vacations. Orders for some popular overseas routes have risen over 100 percent.

Data from tour agencies show that islands have been among the top destinations for outbound trips, with South Korea’s Jeju Island, Thailand’s Phuket, Indonesia’s Bali and some other islands occupying one third of the market share.

High-end islands like the Seychelles and Tahiti also saw a surge of tourists in December compared with last year.

"Smog-free" was also a popular theme for domestic tours. Among the hottest destinations are places with better air quality like Sanya, Xiamen and Lijiang.

The number of tourists from Beijing and Tianjin to Sanya grew 30 percent in December, and thanks to the heavy smog, Hainan province embraced its peak tourism season a month earlier than usual.

In addition, though smog-free tours typically cost more, lots of people still prefer the fresher air during their vacation.

For instance, an overseas “smog-free” trip to top destinations like Australia, New Zealand and Canada will cost about 25,000 to 30,000 yuan per person, but orders for these destinations still increased more than 100%. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Hongyu,Wu Chengliang)

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