Chinese elderly people go on a trip

Recently, Chinese seniors are more and more travelling but mainly inside China

Harsh past

Nowadays, Chinese elderly people decided to travel more. Now that they retired from work, they want to finally enjoy their lives. “Finally” because these people went through lots of horrible things during their youth.


Indeed, Chinese seniors underwent all horror events of the 20th century in China. They survived man-made famine which killed more than 30 millions of people before the end of the 1950s. Plus, they went through the political anarchy of the Cultural Revolution which followed the famine.

After all these events and their work life, now that they retired, they just want to enjoy. And to do so, they decided to go on a trip.

They want to have fun…


Next to the rise of the travel industry in China, travel agencies and packages catering for elderly is a growing business. According to Qi Chun Guan, “Before, the elderly saved all their money. Now, they want to go out and  see the world. These people have seen their share of suffering in their lives. Now, with economic development, it’s difficult from previous generation.”

According to China Daily, the amount of Chinese seniors tourists went up to 58% last year and 62% of them have participated in organized tours. This time, UN data shows that the number of Chinese travelers older than 65 tend to double reaching 210 million in 2030.


During those trips, Chinese elderly are looking for fun. On their daily life, they are the people that are dancing on the beat of their music in the middle of the street, they play card games. They are just having fun. And this continues during their journey. Indeed, they are often seen in tourist attractions, laughing out loud.


… Buy only in China

Chinese elderly people are mainly traveling around their own country. Thus, this boom of new travelers bring some sun to the gloomy Chinese economy. But it has nothing to do with their expenditures.


Indeed, Chinese seniors are so used to save money that even when they are traveling they are looking for good price trip. It exists lots of different types of journey for them and to suit every budget. In tourist agency, prices start with the low cost trip which cost 3,000 yuan (around US $490). These cheap prices are for  people who only want to travel their own country, China.

If some of them are only traveling in China, it might be because they have to pay for it. Because of the single child law settled by the Chinese government, elderly had to sacrifice themselves. Most of the time, the single kid cannot afford by himself his parents retirement fees. Thus they have to pay their trip by themselves.


According to Yong Cai, an assistant sociology professor at the University of North Carolina, “It’s very clear that the next 10 to 15 years down the road will not be so good for the pension system. President Xi Jinxing has been saying China has to deal with the new economic reality and part of this is a new demographic reality.”

However, sometimes, travels don’t finish on a high note. Indeed, on Monday, June 1st, a cruise boat on which a Chinese elderly trip from Nanjing to Changping was organized by the Shanghai Wiehe Tourism Agency sunk. The boat has been hit by a strong storm. On board, 450 Chinese seniors and already 400 of them has been reported dead.


Now that they retired, Chinese elderly want to enjoy their life by travelling within China. But unlike the Chinese young generation tourists, they are only looking for fun while young mostly want to buy luxury products. Thus if you want to attract these travelers, you have to give them good trip that give them opportunities like discovering new things and of course a trip that they will enjoy.


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  1. Very informative article about Chinese demographic structure of travelers and their behaviors. Since Icelandic banking crash country reorganized its income through touristic industry. Chinese tourists are already big part of it. We in Tour operating company Mercury are specialized in traveling organization for several demographic groups including elders structure of population.
    Most popular tours for Chinese travelers are day tours to world known areas and national parks not so far from capital. Another, also large group staying in Iceland longer and they preferr to drive circle tour around Iceland.

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