• A new trend shows that families who travel prefer home-like accommodations.

A new trend shows that families who travel prefer home-like accommodations. (Photo : Getty Images)

As family travel grows trendy, the demand for accommodation shifts from standardized hotel rooms to the more flexible private apartments.

The Chinese travel industry sees more families with children below 18 who prefer booking private apartments where they could feel more at home and conveniently do things which cannot be normally done in hotel rooms.

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A typical private rental home has a kitchen, complete with cooking equipment, allowing a family to prepare meals at their convenience. It also has a living room, providing a suitable space for when kids play.

Xiaozhu, the Chinese counterpart of the U.S.A.'s Airbnb, has seen in the previous years the transition of the kind of customers they serve.

According to Pan Caifu, vice president of Xiaozhu, most of the people who booked through them two years ago were college students. Today, their market is being dominated by middle-class families. He said that the bookings through their website increased five times from 2014 to 2015, and during this period the bookings by families with children below 18 increased 20 times.

Like Airbnb, Xiaozhu is a rental-sharing website where homeowners could list and travelers could search rental homes.

Chen Chi, a co-founder of Xiaozhu, said that "the peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services is becoming the trend, and it has a big effect in the accommodation industry."

Other booking websites, such as Airbnb and Zubaijia, compete with Xiaozhu in the accommodation industry in China. This implies a growing demand in home-like accommodations, which of course comes from the growing number of tourists.

Data from the China National Tourism Administration showed that 67.87 million overseas visitors came to China during the first half of 2016. This indicated a 3.8 percent rise over the same period in 2015.