Camping takes root across China

(People's Daily Online) 15:20, May 15, 2024

Camping has metamorphosed in recent years in China from a niche outdoor activity into a nationwide popular leisure pursuit, and has become the ideal choice for a relaxing journey near home for countless travelers.

Data from online database query platform shows there are over 197,000 camping-related companies in China. Of these companies, 6,600 were registered in the first two months of 2024, a 5.6 percent increase compared to the same period in 2023.

The camping craze has spurred a booming market. It's estimated that by 2025, the core camping market in China will grow to 248.32 billion yuan ($35.05 billion), and will create a total market size of 1.44 trillion yuan.

The rising consumption of camping-related products, ranging from essentials like tents and barbecue grills to derived demands like canopies, camping trolleys, and night lamps, is driving the development across the upstream and downstream industry supply chains.

Local residents enjoy camping in a forest park in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. ( Jing)

Malls and sporting goods stores in many cities of China have witnessed the continuous growth in the sales of complete camping equipment sets in recent years.

At a supermarket in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, all kinds of essential camping supplies are available at affordable prices.

These products, from tents and barbecue grills to folding chairs, have been placed in a prominent spot in the supermarket for the past half month, said a supermarket staff member.

Outdoor camping offers an open yet private space compared to traditional tourism options, and allows for better relaxation, which makes it more popular among Chinese people.

Internet users in the country have been sharing their camping experiences and recommending camping sites on major social media platforms, which have been attracting many netizens eager to enjoy a riverside scenery while barbecuing with loved ones.

During the just-concluded May Day holiday, many citizens across the country enjoyed camping with their friends or family in suburban areas or parks.

"Camping has become very popular. Many of my friends have been sharing their camping experiences, and we got inspired to try it ourselves," said a Yinchuan citizen surnamed Ma, who went camping in a forest park in Yinchuan with his friends on May 4.

Ma added that it feels great to watch movies inside a tent, which provides a very private space that blends with the beautiful outdoor scenery.

For young people, camping has also become a new way to socialize. Yinchuan resident Tang Qiang, in his 30s, said that he often organizes camping activities for members in his camping chat group.

Aside from enjoying relaxing conversations, participants can meet new friends during these activities, Tang said.

As the camping market develops, new models are emerging. Innovative development models featuring the integration of camping experiences and sightseeing, entertainment, and study tours, as well as parent-child tours, have continued to sprout all over the country.

Meanwhile, camping enthusiasts have been constantly upgrading their experiences by adding new items to their camping trips.

Some camping enthusiasts said that while they used to only bring tents, sleeping bags, and food and water, they now pursue a more sophisticated camping experience and bring supplies like canopies, projectors, coffee makers, ambient lights, and fresh flowers, which help create a sense of ceremony and a good atmosphere.

Camping sites have also thrived across the country, and have grown from "a supporting role" of B&B hotels and other businesses into "a leading role" in many tourism activities, said an executive of a camping site in Yinchuan.

According to the executive, outdoor activities have continued to heat up and attract all age groups this year.

Last year, the camping crowd was dominated by young people, but this year, family outings increased, and became more common for all four generations of families to camp together, the executive noted.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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