The call of nature

08:39, March 24, 2010      

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Campers putting up a tent in Miyun,Beijing. Photo: KingCamp

With an increasing number of travelers keen to escape life in the city for a breath of fresh air, tourism industry professionals and outdoor recreation companies are building new camping facilities that are accessible by car, in a bid to lure tourists to the great outdoors.

Yantai Tourism Bureau in Shandong Province recently announced the construction of Xingfuhai, Happy Sea Car Campsite, by Yantai Luhai Outdoors. The 30 million yuan ($4.4 million) facility will be 33,000 square meters and the first in Yantai.

"The project will be finished in June and we expect 100 to 200 tourists every day during peak season," said Li Hui, marketing manger of Yantai Luhai Outdoors.

"Camping is more and more popular among travelers with the increase of cars in China and camping comes in conjunction with special activities, such as fishing, sailing, sail boarding and hiking, which are quite trendy among travelers," Li explained.

According to Yantai Tourism Bureau, 180 campsites will be built in Shandong Province within the next five years.

Dongying, also in Shandong, has started construction on a car and recreation vehicle (RV) campsite as part a 233 million yuan ($34 million) project in the Yellow River Eco-tourism Area, according to Dongying Municipal Government.

Tongzhou Tourism Bureau in Beijing also announced plans earlier this month to build a campground along the Wenyu River. Director of Tongzhou Tourism Bureau, Li Jinxin, explained that the site would combine traditional rural tourism and new facilities, with the option for travelers to stay overnight in a tent or their own RV.

"We just released the yearly plan and we think family camping will be the mainstream of outdoor sports within three years," said Sheng Faqiang, General Manger of Beijing Toread Outdoor Products, at the 2010 China Outdoors Industry Investment Forum held in Beijing on March 5.

"According to our survey toward the international market, family camping has been the fastest developing outdoor sport during the last three years," Sheng added.

"Outdoors products shops have increased from 1,316 in 2007 to 1,400 in 2009 and sales have risen from 1.06 billion yuan ($155 million) in 2007 to 1.8 billion yuan ($264 million) in 2009," added Zhang Heng, general manager of Sanfo Outdoor Products.
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