Tenting turns into burgeoning development in China


A campsite in Beijing. [Photo/IC]

SHENYANG – Camping has been all the rage across China during the just-ended National Day holiday, with some joking that “half the friends on WeChat were camping”.

A pasture in Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, was packed with vacationers during the seven-day vacation, and all kinds of tents mushroomed.

Liu Hao, a Shenyang resident, said outdoor camping sites are popular during the holidays and need to be booked several days in advance.

“For me, camping is a good way to relax, especially in such a fascinating landscape,” Liu said.

China’s camping market has been growing rapidly as more people turn to short-haul recreational camping during the pandemic.

According to research firm iiMedia Research, the core market size of China’s camping economy reached 74.75 billion yuan (US$10.5 billion) in 2021, up 62.5 percent year on year. It is further forecast that the market will grow to 248.3 billion yuan by 2025.

Market-sensitive players are pushing into the industry. More than 20,000 new camping companies were established in China in 2021, and over 5,000 were established this year, according to business information provider Tianyancha.

“2020 can be regarded as the first year of the camping market, and the market size started to explode this year,” said Zhang Yi, who is in charge of six camping bases. “The camping economy is a good breakthrough for the culture and tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.”

Camping gear company Mobi Garden has seen a significant increase in sales since 2020. The company’s net income more than doubled in the first half compared to the same period in 2021.

Huzhou, a popular tourist destination in east China’s Zhejiang Province, hosted the first Yangtze River Delta Camping Conference in June. The city was one of the first to officially regulate the building standards and safety monitoring of campgrounds.

Beijing and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province have also introduced related policies for the healthy development of the industry.

“With the increase in per capita disposable income in China, consumer demand for outdoor leisure activities has increased sharply in recent years. I believe that in the long term, more people will participate in camping and other outdoor activities,” said Liang Qidong, vice president of the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences.