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Stamps of approval

Updated: 2024-02-15 12:33 ( China Daily )
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Figurines are used to decorate a stamp-collecting spot to draw tourists at a Xinhua Bookstore in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. [Photo by DENG XIAOWEI/FOR CHINA DAILY]

While collecting stamps, she said she noticed that the majority of stamp collectors are young women and teenagers, and there is also a social aspect to it, whereby friends exchange the stamps they've collected, creating a form of cultural communication.

According to a travel consumption trend report released last year by Tongcheng Travel, a travel agency based in Jiangsu province, stamp-inspired content has gained significant popularity on various travel platforms since September, sparking a new trend in travel consumption.

During the long vacation over the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays last year, it ranked as the second most popular travel-related keyword online.

Attractions and destinations design related activities to engage visitors, such as organizing stamp exchange events and stamp-collecting challenges, thereby attracting more young travelers.

On various online social platforms, users share their stamp-collecting experiences, discussing where to obtain stamps for free, which locations offer the widest variety of stamps, and where collectors can avoid long queues.

Shi Junchu, 29, from Yunnan province, came across stamp collecting three years ago while traveling in Wuhan, Hubei province. She found it to be a better way of commemorating her travels than purchasing souvenirs, so she carries a specially prepared notebook for collecting stamps whenever she travels.

Before planning her travel routes, she checks stamp-collecting strategies on social media and considers whether the activity is feasible for her itinerary. After concluding her travels, she shares her own strategies on social media.

She has filled six notebooks with stamps. Some of the intricate and delicate examples require multiple impressions to be pieced together into a bigger picture. She once waited in line for an hour and a half for a particular stamp.

"Stamp collecting has added more meaning to my travels. Flipping through those notebooks feels somewhat like looking at photos. I can recall what happened back then just by turning to a page -what delicious food I had, and what fun experiences I enjoyed," she said.

"This habit has improved my understanding of the historical and cultural aspects of various places, because when I collect stamps, I visit the attractions, some of which I wouldn't have visited in the past. I also delve into the stories behind each stamp," she added.

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