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Choose your own adventure

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-18 09:03
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Difficult-to-access travel spots featuring diverse natural landscapes, such as the West Africa, appeal to high-end travelers. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"They pursue outbound destinations that go viral online or are favored by celebrities," Ma says.

They prefer traveling with a small group of usually fewer than five people and enjoy activities such as rafting, cycling and gliding, as well as more sedate pursuits like art and cooking lessons.

"These programs help them to better blend in with local culture and enrich their life experiences," Ma explains.

More than 95 percent of those tourists travel for periods of around 10 days, while about 30 percent show a desire to take longer trips-more than half a month in some cases-the agency reports.

Slower-paced skiing experiences in Japan's Hokkaido, France and Switzerland have continued to attract high-rolling travelers over the years.

In 2018, Chinese online travel agency Ctrip recorded that luxurious customized-trip bookings surged by 180 percent over the previous year, according to a report jointly conducted by the company and the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute.

The demand from travelers based in second-and third-tier cities has surpassed their first-tier counterparts, the report says.

The report put the number of Chinese travelers taking high-end trips at 1.67 million in 2018.

Bookings for those kinds of trips have more than doubled from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, says He Yi, a senior official with Ctrip's customized-tourism operations.

"About 80 percent of them have travel plans all the time, and 95 percent go abroad at least twice annually," He says.

Per capita consumption of Ctrip's customized trips reached 23,800 yuan, as opposed to 5,500 yuan for garden-variety products.

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