A trip labeled “the first real global tour”, offered by Hong Kong and Taiwan travel agents and a Mainland China webpage sold all 30 available seats in just minutes, reports the China Daily newspaper. The chinese tourists will travel by air, train, helicopter and ship to reach destinations which ‘represent’ Antarctica, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Arctic. Ofcouse staying all the way in top-level hotels.

“We are now considering the possibility of adding one more such group to meet the demand,” said Tang Yibo from the Chinese online booking page Ctrip. The healthy response from the market was “not a total surprise for us,” he said, as the number of wealthy people on the mainland is expanding quickly. “Taking half a million yuan (appoximately € 50.000) to travel around the world is not too expensive for rich Chinese,” said Li Xinjian, a professor at the Beijing International Studies University’s School of Tourism Management.

“In the future tour market, luxurious tours and economic tours will be a major trend in China’s tourism industry. As riches increase in the country, people will spend more on travel,” he said. After the first such luxurious tour appeared in Guangzhou in 2006, which charged 20 mainland tourists 100,000 yuan each to go to Antarctica, expensive tours are now appearing frequently. On March 12, a travel agency in Jilin province organized a luxurious hunting tour in Changbai Mountain, costing nearly 150,000 yuan a person, about 20 times higher than a normal tour.

The China Daily article shows a clear trend in the Chinese rich and upper middle class to live life well and spend the money they have earned. Chen Chen, a Beijing office lady mentions that people are gradually accepting luxurious tours, and she also would spend most of her earnings on traveling as long as she makes enough money. A comment which hardly will be heard from people just one generation older than her.