China Sees Increased Interest in RVing and Camping
The trend is likely attributed to effects from the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Interest in RVs and camping is on the rise in China. Bookings for RV-based travel products in the country jumped 2.7 times from April to May 2020. This, according to a study conducted by Chinese travel agency Qunar. China also saw more than 1,200 new RV companies established in the first half of 2020 . This is an increase of 36 percent year-over-year, with 849 set up between March and June 2020 alone.
The sudden increase in RVing and camping is likely attributed to the extended lockdowns in the nation last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Months of confinement indoors and restrictions on physical movement resulted in a markedly increased demand for outdoor experiences. And exploring the country solo in rented or owned RVs or through self-driving trips drew in millions of Chinese according to travel agency site Qunar.
While still small compared to the United States and Western Europe, analysts expect China’s RV market to reach RMB 13.6 billion ($2.1 billion) in sales by 2023. This is up from practically nothing 20 years ago. From 2014 to 2018, RV sales in China climbed from RMB 3.5 billion ($.54 billion) to 7.2 billion ($1.1 billion). The compound annual growth rate was 19.8 percent.
“In a short time, the epidemic may help change the concept of RV among Chinese consumers,” said Lu Lu, general manager of the investment and asset management arm of China Tourism Group. “Yet, China has high land costs in most areas, and the investment-return cycle of building camping sites is long, which will have a certain negative impact on the construction of more camping sites.”