Senior travel booms in China with Yangtze a popular spot

first_imgThe tour was organized by the Shanghai Xiehe Tourism Agency, with the ship run by the state-owned Chongqing Eastern Shipping Corp., which specializes in Yangtze River travel. The ship, the Eastern Star, was plying the river upstream from Nanjing near the eastern coast all the way inland to Chongqing, a trip of 10 days and about 870 miles (1,400 kilometers).There are many versions of senior-friendly trips designed for different income groups, with some low-cost options charging 3,000 yuan, or about $480, for five days on Hainan island, not including airfare, said Beijing travel agent Qi Chun Guan. For Yangtze River travel, most groups fly into the metropolis of Chongqing and then travel downstream to the city of Yichang, Qi said.“Before, the elderly saved all their money,” Qi said. “Now, they want to go out and see the rest of the world. These people have seen their share of suffering in their lives. Now, with economic development, it’s so different from previous generations.”The boom in travel has been one economic bright spot to a graying population that’s presenting China with one of its most serious policy challenges.With U.N. data showing the number of Chinese over age 65 projected to almost double to 210 million people by 2030, the country’s retirement system will struggle to keep up, especially as China’s one-child policy limits the number of working-age people who can pay for the pensions and meager benefits of their elders, said Yong Cai, an assistant sociology professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories In this photo taken Friday, June 5, 2015, an elderly Chinese woman is pushed in a wheelchair near the entrance to the Temple of Heaven park in Beijing. The number of senior tourists in China jumped by 58 percent last year compared to 2013, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper, and 62 percent of Chinese senior citizens join organized tours. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes BEIJING (AP) — When Li Caohua retired in her late 50s, the doctor immediately joined millions of other Chinese seniors and hit the road to see more of her giant country.At the top of her destination list was tropical Hainan island in the south and the ancient villages around her home city of Beijing. Then there was the most grandiose of China’s landscapes — the mythic brown waters of the Yangtze River and its mist-enveloped Three Gorges.last_img read more