China's new forms of travel push continuous evolution of travel preferences

(People's Daily Online) 11:26, January 05, 2024

New forms of travel emerged in China over the last year, with many triggered by the country's "Generation Z,” which pushed the continuous evolution of travel preferences.

"Spending the least money and hit the most tourist attractions" is a key phrase of post-2000s college student Zhang Qing, who enjoys the "special forces-style tourism." After Zibo city, east China's Shandong Province shot to national fame earlier in 2023 because of its barbecue, Zhang and some friends swept through a number of major tourist attractions in the city in such a style. She believes this way of traveling is especially suitable for college students, as it allows them to see a lot while spending little time and money.

Diners enjoy barbecue in Zibo city, east China's Shandong Province (China News Service/Liang Ben)

Unlike the "special forces-style tourism," city walk, or meandering through the urban landscapes, emphasizes a leisurely travel style. Li Ran, a college student from Beijing, experienced a city walk in Jinan city, east China's Shandong Province, and developed a fondness for the ancient buildings in the old streets and alleys. What touched her the most was "as the sun set, people walked home with smiles on their faces and fruits and vegetables in their hands, greeting their neighbors." Although Jinan has many high-rise buildings, she was obsessed with the narrow alleys. “Lie-down travel” is another option for the young to relax. "Getting a bit of the sea breeze, tasting seafood, watching the sunset outside the hotel's floor-to-ceiling windows, this is as good as life gets," said Wang Lize, a post-95s tourist when traveling in Yantai city, Shandong. Wang believes this approach allows him to attain maximum happiness at the lowest cost.

Photo shows seagulls at a beach in Yantai city, east China's Shandong Province. (China News Service/Wang Jiaoni)

Another popular choice for a relaxing vacation is visiting less-known spots where people get a good experience without spending much. Places like Yichun city in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Baise city in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Weihai city in Shandong are good choices for those who want to avoid crowds and explore hidden gems.

"Getting enthusiastic about experiencing new traveling modes is a reflection of social progress, showcasing the people's pursuit of freedom, individuality, and quality of life. It resonates with the rapidly developing society," observed Wang Chenguang, a professor at the School of Economics and head of the culture and tourism research center of Shandong University. Wang also called on the tourism sector to adapt to Generation Z's needs as this generation is becoming the new force of China's tourism market.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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