On the eve of the summer vacation, various tourism merchants are busy wrestling with the parent-child travel market. On June 6, the three-day 18th Beijing International Tourism Expo 3 (hereinafter referred to as the "Beijing Travel Expo") came to an end, at which parent-child travel became a product promoted by major tourism merchants. Although the tourism market has recovered strongly this year, it is very different from 2023, and due to the impact of the incomplete recovery of outbound travel, inter-provincial travel will become the mainstream of the summer. According to Ctrip's data, it is estimated that inter-provincial travel accounts for 2019%, under this circumstance, domestic tourism resources will become scarce in the summer, and merchants are also busy doing charter business to layout the market in advance to grab resources.
Parent-child travel orders accounted for more than 30%.
"Summer vacation is coming soon, and I want to take advantage of the fact that there is no holiday yet to see if there are any special tourism products suitable for a family trip." At the Beijing Travel Expo, Zhang Bo (pseudonym), who plans to travel for the summer, told a reporter from Beijing Business Daily.
In front of each booth at the Beijing Travel Expo, many travel agencies have launched their own parent-child tours and study tour products. It is understood that CYTS Travel has launched 9 products, including "Italian Architecture and Art Parent-child 10-Day Tour". Shenzhou International Travel Service has also launched a number of "parent-child camp" products, such as "Malaysia Tropical Rainforest Nature Exploration 6-Day Parent-Child Camp", which includes wonderful science lectures, tropical rainforest trekking, observation of the mysteries of animals and plants and other exploration and knowledge content.
At the exhibition, Li Mengran, media public relations manager of Zhongxin Travel Group, said, "This year's popular parent-child travel destinations are the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, which have more theme parks and museums, rich parent-child resources, and are welcomed by a large number of parent-child families. At present, Zhongxin Travel's parent-child summer travel orders account for about 50% of the total orders."
According to Ctrip's data, as of June 6, summer parent-child orders accounted for more than 14%, and the number of parent-child orders exceeded 7 times year-on-year, basically recovering to the same period in 2019. The upcoming summer vacation is the traditional tourism season, and sufficient vacation time and tourism resources can release the previously suppressed travel demand of parent-child families. For merchants, parent-child families are an important summer travel force, and parent-child travel products are also their main summer hits.
In addition, Li Mengran said that the 2023 summer market will see that parent-child travel is more focused on leisure tourism, and study tours, as a thematic travel method, have not yet become a mainstream travel type in the first summer parent-child travel market after recovery. "Some parent-child families choose to customize small group tours according to their needs and wishes, and parent-child tourists have more requirements for product details, such as flight time, whether the number of participants is within the acceptable range, etc., which is also a feature of this year's parent-child tour."
Outbound travel is still restricted in the supply chain
The popularity of parent-child travel is more reflected in the domestic tourism market. According to Ctrip's data, as of June 6, more than 14% of orders for inter-provincial travel have exceeded <>%, and although the summer vacation has not yet arrived, inter-provincial travel and long-term travel have taken the lead.
However, the boom in inter-provincial travel has not led to a warming up of outbound travel. Speaking about the summer tourism market, Zhou Weihong, deputy general manager of Spring Tourism, said that the current recovery of outbound tourism has not reached half of 2019. Commenting on the reasons for the restrictions on the resumption of outbound tourism, Zhou Weihong said: "The outbound tourism industry chain is not yet complete, and multiple problems such as destinations, flights, visas, and brain drain are affecting the recovery of outbound tourism."
Taking outbound study tours as an example, in 2019 and before, the destinations of study tours were mainly concentrated in Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea. Since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has issued the first and second batch of notices on the pilot resumption of travel agencies' outbound group travel business for Chinese citizens to relevant countries, and the number of outbound group tours has increased to 60 countries. Although its scope is expanding, the pilot resumption is a gradual process, and the number of destinations for this year's summer study tours is not comparable to 2019.
"The shrinking range of destinations, the reduction in the number of institutions and study guides that previously held study tours, and the fact that flights cannot be resumed overnight, so the supply of study tour products has also declined, but outbound demand is increasing, so resources are particularly tight," explains Zhou.
"At present, summer outbound travel orders are mainly concentrated in traditional routes that have resumed operation, such as France-Italy-Switzerland routes in Europe, and island tours including Maldives and Bali. In addition, this year's niche routes are also favored by some passengers. The relevant person in charge of a state-owned travel agency said. Since the beginning of this year, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries along the "Belt and Road" have gradually become destinations for Chinese tourists. "With the gradual recovery of outbound travel, its route products and tourists' choices are also showing an increasingly diversified trend." The above-mentioned person in charge said.
Domestic charter business is in short supply
"Due to the incomplete recovery of outbound travel, a considerable number of outbound tourists have returned to the domestic tourism market in the summer, coupled with the daily business travel demand, domestic tourism resources have become particularly tight, and tourism businesses must take into account the seizure of limited tourism resources while promoting tourism products, especially this year's tight charter bookings." Zhou Weihong said.
Zhou Weihong introduced that the charter business has not been interrupted since 2020, and compared with before, this year's charter flights have increased significantly in number and routes, far exceeding 2018 and 2019. It is understood that Spring and Autumn Tourism will launch 7 tour charter flights in July and August. Among them, in addition to the existing Xigatse in Tibet and Kashgar in Xinjiang, Qinghai Guoluo and Xinjiang Turpan have also been newly launched.
"For tourists, charter flights lead to a better travel experience, especially in niche destinations. On the other hand, compared with airports in popular destinations such as Urumqi, small airports in Turpan and other places are more convenient and efficient, and the price is lower than that of Shanghai flying to Urumqi. Zhou Weihong said.
For travel agencies, charter flights can spread the cost of flight traffic evenly over the entire passenger, saving travel agencies money. At present, summer buses, tour guides and other resources are scarce, and in the case of a surge in demand, their fees will rise accordingly, which is more costly for small and medium-sized travel agencies.
Zhou Weihong said that the product integration design, resource docking and service of small and medium-sized travel agencies have not been restored, and it is more difficult for small and medium-sized travel agencies to layout in advance of the summer vacation under the situation of tight summer resources. Large travel agencies have more transportation and tourism resources, so they give full play to their resource advantages in the early layout, combine good products such as transportation ticketing and destination resources, and hand them over to sales, give full play to the customer source advantages of small and medium-sized travel agencies, and jointly promote the orderly recovery of the tourism industry.
Beijing Business Daily reporter Guan Zichen Intern reporter Niu Qingyan