You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

Hong Kong-based app Breakup Tours wants to help you get over your ex

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 5 days ago Kylie Knott

Travel is good for the soul and the sore of heart, according to Stephen Chung. His company creates custom tours for those still reeling from the pain of their last relationship

While loved-up couples spend Valentine’s Day overdosing on the usual clichés – champagne, chocolates and roses – there were many among us nursing a broken heart.

And for those seeking to mend one, Stephen Chung has a plan.

This Hong­konger is co-founder of Breakup Tours, a travel app aimed at the broken-hearted that suggests itineraries based on the users’ mood, interests and relationship status as well as their preferred travelling dates and destination.

“I know a lot of people who have suffered from bad relationships,” says Chung. “And while some take a few months to get over them, others are haunted for life.”

a person standing posing for the camera: Stephen Chung, one of the app’s co-founders. Photo: Breakup Tours © Breakup Tours Stephen Chung, one of the app’s co-founders. Photo: Breakup Tours

Chung says it was on Valentine’s Day 2017, while reading a report on peoples’ post-break-up spending habits, that he had his “light bulb” moment.

“It said people just out of a relationship spend 25 per cent more,” says Chung. “They want to get out of the house rather than sit around and dwell on the past.”

As part of the planning process, Breakup Tours clients are asked some unorthodox questions.

“One question asks whether you want to ‘get over my ex’, ‘live a happy single life’, or ‘be ready for the next relationship’. By better understanding users, we can generate travel activities that best suit their emotional state,” says Chung. “We also recommend experiences people might not have shown interest in – after all, breaking up is part of adapting to a new life.”

The formula has struck a chord.

Since its soft launch in November, the app has been downloaded more than 20,000 times, clocked up 10,000 registered members, and sold more than 600 experiences across Hong Kong and Taiwan. Users enjoy one-of-a-kind travel experiences to more than 100 cities, inclu­ding Hong Kong, Hokkaido, Kyoto, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.

a stack of flyers on a table: Before their tour, travellers are provided with a customised ‘Break-Up First-Aid Kit’. Photo: © Provided by South China Morning Post Before their tour, travellers are provided with a customised ‘Break-Up First-Aid Kit’. Photo:

Chung says those going through a break-up lean towards healing and emotional-release travel experiences. And they vary in nature, from making traditional Japanese indoor sandals in Tokyo to having a DJ in a Taipei bar create a song for you in exchange for your heartbreak story.

User feedback has been positive. “What touches our team most is how clients refer to us not as a cold robot or a selling platform, but as their companion in the ‘getting-over’ journey,” Chung says, adding a popular function is the Breakup Tours Listener.

“People tend to express their true feelings with strangers and we’ve heard a lot of heart-wrecking stories while chatting with clients about relationship problems,” he says, adding clients are also given a customised pre-trip “Break-Up First-Aid Kit”, which includes a music pin player for playlists and a camera.

Users can also join “Circle of Travellers” to chat with other broken-hearted members and potentially meet up on trips.

“I want to help people get over sadness through travelling,” Chung says. “When you get lost enough, you find yourself.”

Breakup Tours is available in English and Chinese. For further details, visit Breakup Tours’ page on the App Store.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia. 

Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

More from South China Morning Post

South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon