Business / Industries

Exotic locations lure the nation's wealthy tourists

By Shi Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-02 07:11

High-net-worth individuals are providing fresh impetus to the luxury travel market in China, reports Shi Jing from Shanghai

Luxury trips, which require plenty of money as well as lots of spare time, have become popular among China's newly rich.

The 11-day New Oriental Express trip, set to start on July 8, was an instant hit after being unveiled in mid-April despite its high price tag of 32,000 yuan ($5,160) per person.

Exotic locations lure the nation's wealthy tourists
A group of Chinese travelers arrives in Los Angeles. Luxury trips have become popular among China's newly rich. [Photo/Xinhua]

An express train comprising 10 coaches will accommodate 97 tourists and three guides, with showers in each car along with air-conditioning and a minibar.

The trip, organized by Shanghai Railway International Travel Agency, will take passengers to such places as Turkey, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria and Romania.

No other travel agency on the mainland provides packages to Bulgaria or Romania, making the trip unique, said Fan Chenjian, general manager of the marketing department at Shanghai Railway International Travel.

And if an 11-day trip is too short, HH Travel, the high-end affiliate of Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency, is offering an 80-day round-the-globe tour.

Though priced at a whopping 1.25 million yuan per person, all 10 reservations were snapped up as soon as the package went on sale on May 20.

The trip will take tourists to 24 countries and regions, including such exotic places as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Chile's Easter Island, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Dead Sea in the Middle East, and the North and South Poles.

Liu Mingyu, sales manager for HH Travel, said the agency has been receiving many inquiries about the trip. "Such a round-the-globe product enjoys a scarcity that other companies cannot duplicate," he said.

You Jinzhang, HH Travel's chief executive officer, said an 80-day trip requires a lot of preparation on the part of the agency.

"To ensure that the trip is both comfortable and extraordinary, we have to book the most exclusive hotels some six months to one year in advance," he said.

The trip includes 35 flights, two cruise itineraries, one train route, a helicopter flight and even an icebreaker ride at the South Pole. Therefore, each leg of the journey has to be carefully planned, with tour guides escorting the 10 guests throughout the trip.

Exotic locations lure the nation's wealthy tourists Exotic locations lure the nation's wealthy tourists
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