Last year, the COVID-19 outbreak had limited impact on China's family trips market, with post-80s parents becoming the main driver, The Paper reported.
According to a report from online travel service provider Ctrip, the frequency of family trips fell to 2.4 times in 2020 from 2.7 times in 2019. Data showed between February and May, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of tourists was at its lowest. However, amid the country's firm containment of COVID-19, demand for family trips went through a V-shaped recovery.
Due to COVID-19, family trips mainly focused on short-distance trips close to cities, and road trips became the most popular type. About 40 percent of families chose road trips, and 28 percent preferred high-speed railways. For long-distance trips, airplane is still the first choice, accounting for 32 percent of the total.
Over the past year, the share of post-80s parents who booked family trips via Ctrip reached 41 percent, followed by post-90s (32 percent) and post-70s (20 percent).
With effective and successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic domestically, driven by a "free tickets" policy, there was a growing trend toward traveling in Hubei province, which was hit hard by the novel coronavirus earlier last year.
This trend also drove family trips in surrounding cities there. Wuhan, Xiaogan, Xiantao, Yichang, Ezhou, Huanggang, Jingmen, Xianning and Suizhou became the top 10 fastest-growing tourist origin cities in 2020. These cities all come from Hubei province, and most are second-tier or below.
Most family trips last three to five days, accounting for 45 percent of the total, followed by six to eight days (31 percent) and over eight days (4 percent).
In terms of destinations, theme parks accounted for 27 percent of family trips, followed by natural scenery (22 percent), architecture (19 percent), city tours (12 percent), museums (11 percent) and historical sites (9 percent).
According to the report, the Palace Museum, the Shaanxi History Museum, Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum and the National Museum of China all were in the top 10 most popular museums visited.
Meanwhile, as affluent tourists chose to travel within the country rather than abroad last year, the quality of domestic tourism saw significant enhancement. More than 45 percent of parents choose four- or five- star hotels when travelling.