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Chinese Tourists Are Searching Online For Ways to Escape the Smog

Brief: According to Bloomberg's report, there is now an uptick in people wishing to leave the country for holidays in climes offering cleaner air.
Tourists wearing masks take a selfie at Tian'anmen Square
in the heavy smog on Dec. 9, 2015 in Beijing.
 
Many millions of Chinese are grappling with life under a toxic haze—videos shared online show a thick blanket of smog over Beijing, children have been banned from playing in polluted snow, and one study suggests a third of deaths in China could be caused by smog.

So, it's not surprising that there is now an uptick in people wishing to leave the country for holidays in climes offering cleaner air, Bloomberg reports.

According to a report by Ctrip (CTRP, +1.09%), one of China's major online travel agencies, online search terms like "lung cleansing," "forests" and "smog escapes" have tripled over the past month or so.

Citing data from Ctrip, Bloomberg reports that countries like Iceland, the Seychelles and Maldives are among some of the long-haul destinations boasting the freshest air for Chinese tourists trying to catch a breath, while the best-selling destinations include regional resorts like Thailand's Phuket, South Korea's Jeju and Indonesia's Bali.

Domestically, Ctrip suggests that the usual trend of heading southwards to escape the smog remains popular, with places like Sanya, Xiamen and Guilin making the top ranks.
 
The heavy pollution is also putting off tourists from traveling to some of China's top destinations. Visitor numbers for sites across the capital plunged by almost a quarter throughout the New Year holiday between Dec. 31 and Jan. 2, according to official city statistics.
 
Since Jan. 1, 62 cities across northern China have issued health alerts due to the pollution. In Beijing, the average air-quality index (AQI) over the past month was 195 micrograms per cubic meter, peaking at 470. The World Health Organization's determined "safe" level is 25.
Source: Fortune
TagsChinese tourists smog escapes China's outbound tourism tour to Seychelles tour to Maldives Bloomberg reports

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