Camping to drive green development

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Vacationers enjoy their time at a recreational vehicle (RV) campsite outside the city of Yichang, Hubei province, in May 2021. [Photo/China Daily]

Parks, idle facilities and public areas encouraged to meet rising demand

Tourism and sports authorities recently released a guideline to encourage the establishment of more public camping sites to drive the green economy and green tourism.

According to the guideline, golf courses and rural homestays that go out of business are encouraged to use their facilities to offer camping services to travelers. Tourism sites, resorts, parks in rural areas and sports parks can have separate spaces for campers. Also, parks in urban areas are encouraged to offer spaces such as vacant land and grassland to day campers who don”t spend the night in tents or camps.

Diversified camping sites, such as for recreational vehicles, will be made available to the public. Tourism companies or camping site operators are also encouraged to introduce cultural elements into their services.

The guideline requires operators of camping sites to get health permits, and official permission for food and fire safety. They should also improve their management of campers’ personal safety.

Camping site operators are required to clearly mark prices for products or services, and to give campers real and precise information when promoting their products.

The guideline was released by 14 central departments including the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Fang Zexi, an analyst from Trip.com Group, an online travel agency, said the guideline supports the development of commercial camping sites that will help meet people’s needs for leisure in suburban areas.

She said that orders for camping products on their platform rose 30-fold this year from the previous year, with average expenditures of 1,027 yuan ($143), a year-on-year rise of over 10 percent. The platform offers camping products in 152 Chinese cities.

Figures from Tujia, a property rental platform and homestay operator, show that camping-related homestays on its platform grew six-fold and reservations for these homestays increased 25-fold in 2022 from 2019.

Jinlv Consulting, a travel research agency, estimated in a recent report that the domestic camping market will reach a value of 178 billion yuan next year, up 46.3 percent year-on-year.

The report said that the domestic camping industry, however, still faces some obstacles. For example, camping sites are easily influenced by weather conditions, and the lack of professional camping services and management also hampers the sector’s development.

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