The market for sports tourism races ahead in China

By Yang Feiyue ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-08-05 07:45:54

Li Xia has been traveling around to keep up with major marathon events at home and abroad.

He has been to such Chinese cities as Yading in Sichuan province and Yumen in Gansu province, and Japan and the United States to run.

"I don't really care about the results, and I just want to enjoy running and have fun along the way," says Li.

Many like Li now travel to take part in or watch sports events.

The number of travelers who booked sport tourism products through Tuniu, a major online travel agency in the mainland, surged 150 percent in 2016 over the previous year, the travel agency says.

Sports tourism covers hiking, cycling and marathons and the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.

First-tier cities in China have become a major source of outbound travelers for sports tourism, according to the report.

Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing in Jiangsu province top the list.

White-collar workers are a major force, accounting for 53 percent of those opted for sport tourism.

Lijiang, Dali, Kunming, the Diqing Tibet autonomous prefecture, Xishuangbanna in Yunnan province, Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, Xining in Qinghai province, Sanya in Hainan province, and Erdos and Hohhot are the most popular destinations for hiking and cycling, Tuniu reports.

Travel mostly spans four to six days and costs around 2,000-4,000 yuan ($297-$594).

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