In China, most of the schools start the summer holiday at the end of June or early July every year, and students return at the end of August or beginning of September. The whole summer holiday will last for nearly two months. The expense occurring during the 2 months could account for 20% of annual sales revenue generated from students, according to ‘Meituan Student Summer Consumption Trends Big Data Report‘. (Meituan is a leading Chinese group buy website for locally found consumer products and retail services).

Chinese Students Summer Holiday
Meituan Student Summer Consumption Trends Big Data Report

In 2017, a blog article about a mother with 30, 000 CNY (US$ 4,500)  monthly income struggling to cope with the high expense level during the summer vacation, created a stir on the internet. It also gives us a glimpse of the lifestyles of the Chinese students during the school holidays and indicates the potential of the China education market.

In general, the expenditure during summer holidays can be divided into 4 areas, including travel, education, entertainment and others.

The breakdown table below records where the mother mentioned in the blog spent the cost; the biggest expenses were for travel and education, taking up 79% of the total cost. (US$ 3,900)

Chinese student expense breakdown - summer holiday

To learn more about the students and China education market, let us look into each of the top spending segments.


As students rarely travel during term time, therefore, trips, especially long trips will take place during the school holidays for most of the students. Becuase students create the surge during school holidays, they are also one of the strong consumer segments of the tourism industry.

The ‘2018 Summer Tourism Consumption Trend Report’ released by ( a leading OTA in China) projected that early July to mid-August this year will be the peak for the number of passenger flow. The report also forecasted that the number of travellers during this period would account for 54% of the total number of the annual passengers.

Top Destinations for Chinese Students

Chinese students would travel to both domestic and overseas locations during the school holidays. 360 Shangyi Data (big data tools developed by Qihoo 360) revealed the top destinations favoured by students.

Taking age group 19-22-year-old, the millennials as an example, Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shandong, Shanghai are the most popular domestic destinations; Asia and Europe are the first choices when it comes to international travel.

It is also worth noting that there is a surge in travellers from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. 360 Shangyi Data indicates that about 26% of the travellers come from second-tier cities.

The Transportation

Since more students would travel domestically, travelling by train is still the first choice. 89% of the students would choose to travel by train according to Meituan report.

Summer Camps

Both domestic and international summer camps are popular during the holiday time.

China has 180 million students from kindergarten to high school, and about 5 per cent of them are expected to take part in summer camps, both domestically and internationally.

Ctrip  –  ‘2017-2018 Study Tour Market Report’

More and more Chinese parents who can afford, are willing to send children abroad during the summer holidays, not only to learn the language and experience the culture but also let the youngsters see the outside world.

According to the report published by, the most popular routes for International summer camp are focusing on developed countries, such as Canada, UK, Germany, France and Australia. UK and US host about 60 % of outbound Chinese students, estimated by New Oriental Education & Technology Group.


Summer holiday is also a great time to gain new knowledge, tutoring and training classes on different subjects are also popular ways to spend the holiday.

According to 360 Big Data, tutoring for primary and middle school students has the largest share in summer education market, whilst, the middle school students account for 27.8% of the total student consumers.

About 22% of the students utilise the holiday to prepare for further education and career development.  It is the time to deal with university and Visa applications, attend relevant training courses, take language exams and look for graduate jobs.


Of course, summer holidays also mean relaxation. To many students, gaming is an essential part of their summer holiday. We have been using 360 Trends to monitor the search trend on gaming terms. The search volumes on gaming-related terms increased 18% since June 2018, compared with the previous period.

Qihoo 360 2017 Gaming Industry Search Trend

The ‘2017 Annual Gaming Industry Report’ published by 360 Marketing Academy, also pointed out the traffic of gaming websites increased during July, August time. Especially for the gaming websites have a large number of student players.

The summer holiday has arrived this year. Is your industry related to the student market in China, how does the summer holiday affect your business?


Data Sources: 360 Trends ( & 360 Shangyi ( (big data tools developed by Qihoo 360).  Learn more about Qihoo 360

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