Usually, at this time of year, Shanghai mother Kelly Cheng is putting the finishing touches to the preparations for her 10-year-old daughter’s overseas study tour. The youngster has traveled to Australia and New Zealand in the past two years, but this summer, because of the coronavirus, she will be staying at home.
International study tours have become very much de rigueur for China’s more affluent families in recent years. In 2019, the so-called education tourism market was worth 33 billion yuan (US$4.6 billion), with about 1.3 million youngsters spending part of their summer holidays studying overseas, according to a report by Beijing-based consultancy Huaon.com.
This year, parents are not even sure when the holidays will be, as schools across the country are still closed because of the government’s containment efforts.
For weeks, children have attended online lessons to help keep them up to date, but the disruption the health crisis has caused to their education is likely to mean a shorter summer holiday.
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