More Chinese travelling overseas for clean air

World Today

According to the Asian Development Bank and Tsinghua University, only one percent of China’s cities met the World Health Organization’s air quality standard. The country’s smog is driving more mainland tourists overseas. CCTV America’s Grace Brown reported from Beijing.

More Chinese travelling overseas for clean air

According to the Asian Development Bank and Tsinghua University, only one percent of China's cities met the World Health Organization's air quality standard. The country's smog is driving more mainland tourists overseas. CCTV America's Grace Brown reported from Beijing.

With air pollution becoming a growing concern in China, more Chinese are travelling abroad. According to Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau, the air was unhealthy on more than half of all days last year, fueling China’s surge in overseas tourism.

In 2014, 100 million Chinese traveled overseas, compared to just 8 million in 1998.

Asia was the top destination, luring almost 90 percent of mainland tourists with Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan receiving 70 percent, while South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and the United States received a million Chinese tourists each this year.

Tour companies said clean air is increasingly important to travelers.

“We believe health and environmental benefits of a destination are very important. Because of the air pollution, people want to go overseas and clear their lungs. Popular activities, including cycling, golf and hiking, are anything with a health theme. In 2014, we received 30,000 overseas bookings. Eighty percent of these were customers looking for clean air, sun and sea.” Du Haichen, the marketing manager of Beijing My Tour International Travel Service, said.

Some domestic destinations were also winning visitors from China’s big cities, such as Tibet.