Tue, May 02, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Most kids want to travel, but hate tour bus rides: survey

DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE Students polled in a Club Med survey said they would like the chance to experience foreign cultures and sceneries

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A recent survey suggested that more than half of the nation's children wish to travel abroad.

The survey, designed by the Taiwanese branch of Club Med, an organization that operates vacation resorts around the world, was conducted from April 4 to April 10.

Released last week, the survey indicated that 26.4 percent of the children polled have been abroad at least once. Of those, 65.9 percent lived in Taipei.

More than 50 percent of those polled said they wanted or preferred the idea of going abroad. Of these, 51.9 percent said it was because they wanted to experience different cultures and ways of living, 22.3 percent said they wanted to visit different scenic spots and 13.3 percent said it was because they had never been abroad or rarely go abroad.

However, 40.9 percent of the respondents said they preferred traveling domestically, because distances were shorter and therefore more convenient.

Furthermore, 14.5 percent of those interested in travel were worried that they would experience language problems abroad. Another 14.1 percent said they were afraid of going to an unfamiliar environment.

Wu Ruo-chuan (吳若權), an author, said that children who have traveled abroad and experienced different cultures would be more likely to gain a competitive edge internationally later on in life.

Wu said many families join tour groups but are not experienced in choosing the right kind.

Without careful planning, parents often choose a random group and their children end up not having fun.

According to the survey, 28.5 percent of the children pinpointed long tour bus rides as the most hated aspect of trips planned by their parents, while 27.7 percent said it was going to "boring grown-up places" and 18.9 percent said it was continual shopping or buying souvenirs.

Also, Wu said that most children polled did not like following their parents' schedules during vacations and wanted to do activities designed for children.

Of those surveyed, 90.5 percent said they wanted their parents to take their opinions into account when planning a vacation, Wu said.

The survey questioned 806 elementary and junior high school students in Taipei, Tai-chung and Kaohsiung city and county. The survey had a 3.5 percent margin of error.

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