Chinese students visit King's Coll countries. TAN XI/ FOR CHINA DAILY
“You could feel that he had changed a lot after the tour. He was more organised and confident when communicating with others, as he knew more and had more things to share,” she 理，也更自信，因为他知道的更多，有更多的东西可以分享。”
Cheng Guowei, a representative of a study tour centre based in Shanghai, said parents were concerned about their children’s education.
“Nearly 95 percent of our participants are students, most of them are primary and middle school kids. Yet this market is also very competitive, as there are many similar centres and institutions targeting the parents,” he said.
Cheng said money was a big concern for parents, with most applying for more affordable destinations like Japan or Singapore, rather than European countries. His cheapest Asian tours cost about 10,000 yuan for six to seven days, with trips to English-speaking countries like the United States and Canada priced from 20,000, excluding air fares.
The study tours were not about academic knowledge but broadening horizons, Cheng said.
“To be honest, in just two weeks what kind of knowledge can they learn? But kids, of course, like study tours, which must be better than staying at home doing homework or attending classes,” he said.
According to the Sohu News survey, when parents are not making travel plans for their children, they are applying for special interest classes and supplementary tutorials to fill in the spare hours of the summer 新闻的调查，如果家长没给孩子安排旅行计划，就会给孩子报兴趣班和课外辅导班把假期填满。
On Weibo, a post about “Fight over 7,000 yuan summer supplementary classes” became a hot trend and attracted more than 180 million comments in July, as parents rushed to secure places for their children in the most popular holiday 评论，家长们争相为孩子在最热门的假期补习班中报名。
Yin Jianli, a writer who specialises in family and education issues, said it was unnecessary to arrange activities for children during the summer holidays.
“Parents are not helping their children, they are just doing it to reduce their own anxiety,” she said.
Many parents thought they could buy their children a better education, “but actually, a holiday should be a time for rest and play, not study”, she said.