Excuse me while I take a victory lap around my desk. In an interview, Virgin Atlantic Airways Founder Richard Branson may very well have revealed that he reads Talking Travel:
"I would love to introduce kids’ class. It would be a separate cabin for kids with nannies to look after them. We’ve had an issue with the Civil Aviation Authority. They worry in an emergency kids would be running in one direction and their parents would be running in the other. So we haven’t got it through yet," Branson told Conde Nast Traveler. Sounds like something this column proposed not so long ago. If Branson’s saying it out loud, probably others in the airline industry are thinking about this. Once again, great minds think alike. Read the whole interview here.
Four months later, still not a single trace of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been found, but the incident has had less impact on Chinese travel to Malaysia than expected. China still ranks third among tourist arrivals in that Southeast Asian country, behind only neighboring Singapore and Indonesia.
The number of individual travelers from the rest of China to Taiwan is set to rise as ten new cities are being added to the independent traveler program. In 2013, 2.8 million PRC passport holders visited Taiwan, with 430,000 independent travelers having already gone by May this year.
One characteristic of Chinese travelers that is emerging is that those who travel abroad are avid travelers. Fewer than five percent of China’s population has a passport, and yet 97 million international trips were made by PRC citizens in 2013. Those who catch the travel bug seem to suffer from it quite badly!
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com July 17, 2014.