Happy campers helping stimulate economic growth

Updated: Jun 5, 2024 By LIU ZIZHENG China Daily Print
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At a campsite in Deqing county, East China's Zhejiang province, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the stunning mountain views and take a breather from their busy urban lives.

In recent years, camping has become a new trend in China's leisure industry, which not only offers city dwellers an opportunity to get closer to nature, but also injects fresh impetus into the country's economic growth.

Campsites have been set up across the country, especially in scenic rural areas, offering various types of services based on local characteristics.

Chayeli Campsite in Deqing, for example, is surrounded by beautiful mountains with tea terraces, with the venue also serving brewed beverages.

The campsite has placed 12 tents amid the lofty terraces, which provide the best views for visitors, and idle land below is used for a parking lot that can accommodate more than 50 recreational vehicles (RVs).

Like Chayeli — which roughly translates to "tea terrace" in Chinese — most of the county's campsites rely heavily on a stable power supply to power up the RVs.

Against such a backdrop, State Grid Deqing Power Supply Co said it continues to add new public distribution transformers to local campsites, as well as modify old ones.

The company said efforts have also been made to regularly inspect the electrical equipment, upgrade transmission lines and remedy safety hazards.

The campsites in Deqing have significantly contributed to local rural vitalization by accelerating the development of cultural and tourism industries and increasing local household incomes, the company added.

According to a report released by iiMedia Research, a China-based business analysis firm, the size of China's camping market expanded 51.8 percent year-on-year to 113.47 billion yuan ($15.66 billion) in 2022, and the figure is expected to reach nearly 250 billion yuan by 2025.

"The camping industry in China has entered a stage of rapid growth, which can help meet the increasingly personalized and diversified leisure needs of the public," said Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy.

Dai said the industry is expected to greatly boost domestic consumption and create more jobs, especially for rural residents.

A series of new leisure products and business models have also emerged along with the industry's growth, thus ushering in a new era of development for China's smart and green tourism, Dai added.

Meanwhile, Zhu Di, a researcher at the Institute of Sociology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said there still exists ample room for China's camping sector to further improve.

Zhu said support facilities for camping are inadequate and there is severe information asymmetry in the industry, which could have a negative impact on the camping experience.

Zhu said the country should advance the standardized development of the sector by cultivating more talent and equipping campsites with better amenities.

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