China takes to the great outdoors

 

Photo taken on June 21, 2013 shows a side event is held during Beijing International

Tourism Expo 2013 (BITA) event (June 21-23) sponsored by Beijing Municipal  

Commission of Tourism Developmhelent (BJTA) .    Photo by Yang Jianxiang                                                                                                                                           

 

Photo taken on June 15, 2013 shows a caravan is presented during at the All in Caravanning 2013

(AiC) exhibition (June 15-17) organized by Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, organizer of the Caravan

Salon Düsseldorf  in German.   Photo by Yang Jianxiang 

 

 

China takes to the great outdoors

 

By Yang Jianxiang  

CHINA FEATURES TRAVEL

 

China’s camping and caravanning sector is set to accelerate development in order to meet growing demand.

Two exhibitions in June at the China National Convention Center in Beijing saw unprecedented interest from the public and industry.

The All in Caravanning 2013 (AiC) exhibition (June 15-17) was organized by Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, organizer of the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf in Germany, while the Beijing International Tourism Expo 2013 (BITA) event (June 21-23) was sponsored by Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development (BJTA).

The exhibitions featured top international caravan brands like Hymer,Hobby and Fendt as well as domestic giants such as Beijing North RV, Polaris and Arctic Cat.

AiC 2013 alone reported 19,122 industry and public visitors, up 86.7 percent on last year. About 80 percent of the exhibitors signed deals and more orders were expected to follow, according to the organizers.

Camping and caravanning are new to China and the potential is huge. At present, the entire country has around 100 sites available for camping, autos and caravans, says Xiu Xuejun, president of the China Camping and Caravanning Association: “Far from enough.” In comparison, the United States has about 20,000, Europe 30,000 and Japan 3,000.

The supply of RVs is also short of demand. Sales have averaged about 1,000 a year and the national total of privately owned RVs is estimated at about 10,000, but it is expected to climb to 20,000 at the end of 2015. Ownership of RVs in 2011 reached 8.9 million in the U.S., 6.5 million in Europe and 78,000 in Japan.

The State Council in December 2009 put campsites and RVs on the list of industries encouraged for investment. Local governments are reportedly enthusiastic because the sector is expected to invigorate their economies.

Three major bottlenecks hinder the sector’s development. Firstly, there are few regulatory norms or standards to ensure healthy development. It is even not clear which government department should take charge of the issue. Currently both the sports and tourism administrations act as authorities.

In June, the country’s first national standards for campsite development passed the first round of expert scrutiny and the second and final examination was to take place a few weeks later. If approved, it will be released without delay, says Xiu Xuejun, a sports official who is closely involved in the preparation of the standards. Xiu took up camping more than a decade ago during a visit to the Republic of Korea. He later founded the Golden Sunflower Outdoor Activity Club, the first Chinese body to join the Federation Internationale de Camping et de Caravanning (FICC).

The gross shortage of campsites is another problem, but their construction will be accelerated. Beijing planned to boost its campsites to 80 in number at the end of 2015, up from about 10 now, BJTA executive deputy director Song Yu told a seminar on June 21.

If all goes smoothly, the country will have 10,000 campsites in operation in 10 years, Xiu Xuejun says.

Building a camping culture is essential to China’s development of this sector. Xiu Xuejun says overseas demand for camping tours in China is high, with much of the interest from overseas Chinese.

With economic growth and paid public holidays, tourism has grown rapidly in China. As more households own cars, the pattern of tourism is changing from conventional package tours to free independent travel.

A host of other promotional events are scheduled around the country later this year, and from May 30 to June 8 next year, the 80th International FICC Rally will be held, the first such event to take place in China at a purpose-built campsite in Yanqing, northwest Beijing.

The event is expected to attract 3,000 participants, including 1,000 from abroad, and more than 100 RVs, says Xiu Xuejun, whose Golden Sunflower club is one of the sponsors.

 

 

 

 

PHOTO  REPORT    posted on July 8, 2013 

 

 

A visit to a RV park in Beijing

Photos taken by Wu Kaixiang on June 10, 2013

 

 

 

People walk into the camping site where MI· RV & Camping Festival 2013 (June 10-12) is held

in the Nanshan RV Park in Miyun, northwest Beijing, on June 10, 2013.

 

A man flies a kite at the camp site.

 

 A man prepares for camping together with his daughter.

 

Young people prepare for a barbecue.

 

A girl leisurely sits  inside her tent. 

 

Young people gather to enjoy beers.

 

Interior view of  a RV

 

View of the RVS 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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