Ever since China opened up its borders to travelers a few months ago, we have been busy creating lots of exciting new trips for you. While the rest of the world has long since returned to traveling with some (emphasis on “some”) semblance of pre-pandemic levels, Chinese citizens have been limited to domestic travel only. But those days are behind us now. Why China Is The Perfect Destination For a School Trip in 2023Today, we’d like to share some insights on current trends regarding school trips to China in 2023!
The Rise of Rural Tourism
The tourism industry in China is expected to reach 95% of pre-pandemic levels. One of the trends that will continue to skyrocket in 2023 is rural tourism, which was on the rise even before 2023 within the domestic market. Small villages, farms, and orchards were frequented by China’s city dwellers for a much-needed escape, just as those who were locked indoors in 2020 looked to Animal Crossing as a whimsical getaway.
With 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s no wonder rural tourism has been favored by travelers. The fact that the pastoral areas of China are so much wider and more spacious than cities offer a way for citizens to self-isolate and avoid crowds. As we are still slowly recovering from the pandemic, many are finding that they aren’t quite ready to leave the slower pace of life behind.
Because of this, we opened a cafe and multipurpose space called WildChina Studio Songyang in rural Lishui, Zhejiang (浙江, zhè jiāng). Lishui (丽水, lì shuî) is one of the locations in the Chinese government’s rural revitalization program. Our minimally-renovated space serves as a cafe, art gallery, and communal gathering space that is frequented both by travelers and local residents. This project was our effort to promote eco-tourism and allow visitors to taste local flavors. In fact, ingredients are sourced and harvested locally, offering an authentic farm-to-table experience.
Ethnic Minority Villages and the Wondrous Xishuangbanna
If you are seeking an idyllic school trip to China, WildChina has many countryside programs available to bring you spectacular rice terrace views, attractive mountain valleys, and picturesque forests. As a sustainable travel company, environmental values are always at the forefront of each trip we design. In a previous blog post where we detailed 5 trips to prioritize when China opens its borders, we shared places such as Guizhou, where you could visit Miao, Buyi, and Dong villages. Another exotic destination that should be on your radar is Xishuangbanna (西双版纳, xī shuāng bân nà), an ecological wonderland known in the ancient Dai language as an “ideal and magical paradise.”
Xishuangbanna, located in Yunnan (云南, yún nán) is part of UNESCO’s East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network (EABRN). China’s largest, biodiverse tropical forest is home to hundreds of rare wild animals and plants including the elephas maximus indicus, colloquially known as the Indian Elephant, a subspecies of Asian Elephants. Xishuanbanna is equally ethnically diverse, with ethnic minorities including Dai, Ahka, Lahu, Jinuo, Yi, Yao, Bulan, and more. Sustainability and ecological preservation would be an area of focus during your school trip to this magical place.
A large driver behind the rise of rural tourism is a poverty alleviation campaign created by the Chinese government in 2017. With more travelers choosing to visit rural places, CNN reports that more than 800,000 people were lifted out of poverty since the campaign began. In the next 4 years, we see continued growth in leisure agriculture, rural tourism, and the homestay economy.
Developing Soft Skills Through Cultural Exchange
Earlier this year, Forbes reported that one of the top 5 education trends in 2023 is a focus on soft skills and STEM. Soft skills include communication skills, creative thinking, interpersonal skills, and conflict resolution, just to name a few. These are skills that students come across in the classroom but rarely develop to a great enough extent. Soft skills are also referred to as human skills, since these are the skills that make someone a good person to work with. Our school trips to China can actually help students develop their soft skills.
The school trips WildChina design helps students strengthen interpersonal skills and social emotional learning (SEL) by allowing them to interact with local citizens. For example, in our Fujian Ocean Sustainability and Adventure school trip to China, students have an opportunity to interview local community members as part of a documentary-making project.
Since education travel is estimated as one of the first to recover, we would like to bring you on a school trip to China where students can learn through playing and doing, which is another growing trend in 2023. In each of our programs, students get to learn about many ancient Chinese skills, including Peking opera, dumpling making, and tai chi. There are so many places for you to explore. Whether you want to see fairy tale-esque Yunnan, Suzhou, known as the Venice of China, or the Avatar mountains in Zhangjiajie, we can make it happen!
Corporate travel is another type of inbound travel that we see as an area of growth in 2023. We have an executive trip to China that will bring you to Anji, Zhejiang’s Club Med Resort, where bamboo forests and tea gardens await you.
Interested in booking a school trip to China?
As a tailored travel agency that has been operating since 2000, we are dedicated to bringing you the most authentic Chinese experience on your school trip to China. Since China started issuing all types of visas (including tourists visas) again on March 15, 2023, and we have so many new journeys and experiences to offer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today! If you have any questions regarding pandemic travel, please refer to our Travel Advisory page or simply ask us by phone or email! Part of being a tailored travel agency means that whatever learning objectives you would like your students to reach, our Academic Managers can incorporate them into your trips. Inbound travel to China will likely take a year to fully recover, but there is no time for waiting, especially if you want to have a school trip to China by the end of the year. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Sources: Why China Is The Perfect Destination For a School Trip in 2023