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Older Chinese blaze newer trails

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-14 08:13
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A family visits the Yalu River Broken Bridge in Dandong, Liaoning province. [Photo by Qi Buzi/China Daily]

A growing number of retirees are hitting the road. And the travel industry is maturing to serve this emerging market, Yang Feiyue reports.

Zhang Mengyun has been living life in motion since she retired five years ago.

The former accountant from Beijing has spent the past half-decade on the road, traveling throughout the country.

"My son has a job and is independent," says Zhang, who's in her 50s.

"So, I don't have much to worry about at home. I figured: Why not go out with my friends and have fun?"

Her appreciation of landscapes and Buddhism led her to such destinations in western China as Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, and the Tibet autonomous region.

She enjoys snapping and sharing photos of ordinary life in the places she visits.

Zhang is among a growing number of elderly Chinese who are using their time and money to travel.

China is home to 241 million people older than 60. They account for over 17 percent of the country's population, according to National Bureau of Statistics data.

Over 80 percent of them expressed an interest in travel in a 2016-20 market study about older tourists by the Shenzhen-based company, China Investment Consulting.

Domestic online travel agency Lvmama, which is headquartered in Shanghai, reports that 32 percent of its customers in the first four months of the year were over 50 years old, a rise of 5 percentage points over the same period in 2017.

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