1. Camping becomes the hottest holiday in China

Starting in spring 2022, the new style of camping is sweeping China at an unprecedented rate. Beautiful canopies, comfortable lounge chairs, lightweight folding tables, speakers, grills, moka pots and pet dogs are all elements that are frequently appearing on Chinese social media platforms. China is home to a large number of urban dwellers who crave green landscapes and long for mountains and rivers, and camping is now a convenient way for them to catch up on the ‘nature lessons’ they missed in the classroom.

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2. What is the size of the camping market in China?

The number of camping trips in China has now reached 360 million. Data released by the Ctrip app shows that the growth rate of camping products has reached 800% since the start of 2022, with more than 5 times as many users signing up for camping tours as in the whole of 2021.

In 2020, China’s camping market will be around 700 billion yuan, with an annual growth rate of 40%, and the market is expected to reach 2 trillion yuan in the next 5 to 10 years.

3. Why is China taking the “camping trend” by storm?

Firstly, there is the constant policy encouragement. With the Covid-19 making most long distance travel difficult, governments at all levels are encouraging people to travel around cities and have introduced a series of plans to develop the outdoor sports and camping industry, improve the infrastructure of camping bases and promote the continued development of the camping industry to stimulate the economy.

Secondly, a variety of marketing methods. China now has a number of camping-themed TV shows coming on line, as well as a variety of social media platforms on the internet where campers share their experiences. On Little Red Book, WeChat and Douyin (TikTok) platforms, the large number of beautiful camping pictures and Vlogs has led to this model of tourism being emulated; on travel platforms such as Ctrip and Miye Camp, they have created new sharing communities, offering campsite recommendations, camping eqipment “packages” and professional camping reviews, which has greatly encouraged  ‘old and new campers’ to learn camping skills and update their camping equipment.

Thirdly, the camping equipment market is constantly developing and improving. Online shopping platforms such as Taobao, Tmall and Jingdong show that new brands of camping equipment have been coming in over the past two years, and the proportion of consumption is increasing; the trend of upgrading the consumption of key camping categories such as tents and tables and chairs is obvious, with more and more sophisticated and beautiful camping products with multiple functions, and demand for expensive products growing. This has laid the foundation for camping equipment to become more sophisticated and popular, and has brought a lot of convenience to campers.

4. Who is the camping demographic in China?

Post-80s parents and middle-aged people in first-tier cities are the core demographic of the camping market in China, in addition to youth with high purchasing power in rural areas as the growth driver.

According to a survey, women are the main decision makers in camping activities, accounting for 64% of the total. Camping consumption is inseparable from the concepts of quality, sophistication and light luxury. Camping has to capture the hearts and minds of young women.

Post-80s parents are making camping their first choice for holiday travel in order to combine the three main needs of socialising, walking their children out and getting out of the city. In this way, camping is not only a tourist project, but also a family-friendly and social activity.

Diverse forms of camping

New camping scenarios are constantly emerging. Trekking camping, mountain camping, car camping, the emerging BC camping and park camping. When it comes to choosing a form of camping, consumers are leaning towards new, shorter camping trips that are more comfortable and more sophisticated. “Picnic”, “stargazing”, “flower viewing”, “open-air concerts”, “travel photography ” and many other distinctive and sophisticated camping combinations are also sought after by a large number of visitors.

Extended season

The camping season in China is not limited to April and September. From shopping platforms we observe that more and more consumers are choosing to buy camping equipment in summer and winter, and that the highest growth rate of spending is seen in winter.  In addition, the Chinese shopping festivals of June and November are the new growth points for camping spending. During spring and summer, the park tent and picnic mat categories are popular consumer preferences; in autumn it is canopy and campervans, and in winter it is picnic equipment such as barbecue grills and firelighters.

Broader geography

China is a vast country with very different travel habits in the south and north. The pleasant climate of the south, with its natural beauty and high number of camping trips, is the mainstay of China’s camping market. Now the north is also seeing a boom in camping and the popularity of the trip is gradually rising.

Equipment upgrades

Young visitors are not only demanding lighter and more practical camping equipment, they are also demanding a good look for their equipment. According to shopping platform data, cotton tents with more texture and beauty, solid wood tables and chairs, metal nightlights and portable coffee machines are gaining momentum as they also carry the burden of taking photos.

6. Summary of the camping industry in China

Overall, the figures for camping in China are great and the future is promising. As long as brands target the preferences of their customer base and blend their products and services with innovation and quality, they are sure to stand out on the vast track in China.

If you would like more information on the Chinese camping market, please contact STAiiRS.

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