Video interviews on Chinese travel
The “Bitter” Generation’s History of Travel
Opportunities to travel, both internationally and domestically, have exploded since China opened its doors. The younger “sweet generation” has grown up with passports at the ready, but just 30 years ago tourism wasn’t a mainstream activity, and most travel was arranged by people’s work units. Those who did travel, didn’t boast about it. According to one interviewee, “It was propagandised that people should study hard and work diligently.” To better understand the older generation of Chinese travellers, we asked them about their travel experiences and attitudes before China reformed and opened up.
Travelling Together With Different Expectations
China’s tumultuous 20th century has resulted in two very different types of travellers. Those born before 1970 lived through a period when China’s borders were closed and economic deprivation meant domestic travel was almost as impossible. In contrast, many of those born later have been travelling internationally since university or even earlier. In this video, we look at the priorities of parents and their adult children differ when they travel, and how families compromise when they plan their trips. Some mechanics are very different from what you find in the West. One aunt, for instance, told us “My niece asks our opinions and books the hotel for us according to our needs.”