Fly fishing gear

Fueling tourism recovery with micro-towers

SHI YU/CHINA DAILY

The concept of “micro-tourism” or “micro-vacation”, which comes from the tourism industry, may not be new, but micro-tourism seems to have become a trend in recent years.

Micro-tourism is characterized by short-distance travel – two to three hours on the road – and stays of two to three days in one place, usually on weekends or during short holidays. Unlike true vacations, which typically involve elaborate planning, much longer travel time, higher expenses, and span a week or more, micro vacations require little planning and time, and are less expensive.

In addition, a micro-tourism travel group is relatively small, usually a family seeking quality time and comfort together, and the choice of location is more flexible.

Micro-tourism started to spread seven or eight years ago and has become increasingly popular since the outbreak of COVID-19. With pandemic prevention and control measures becoming the norm and infection risks being higher on long-distance travel, more and more people, especially those living in large and medium-sized cities, go on vacation. short, usually on weekends, for relaxation.

Local tours, short-distance leisure tours, family trips, fraternity tours, car tours, recreational vehicle (RV) tours and camping picnics have fueled the recovery of the industry tourism. As the pandemic prevention and control policy is expected to be in place for some time given the uncertainties over the novel coronavirus, particularly the emergence of more infectious variants like Omicron, increasing numbers of people are going on short vacations to ease the stresses of everyday life. .

Adapting to these new trends, destinations around cities, natural parks, forest parks, cultural parks, campsites and resorts offer new facilities and specialized services for motorhome camping, the ” deadly scenario”, the barbecue and the picnics. Homestays, wine tours, parent hotels, craft workshops, cultural and creative produce markets, and open-air concerts are also becoming popular.

In addition, short videos and new media platforms promoted new projects and forms of tourism. For example, a well-known lifestyle platform offers nearly 50 new formats related to micro-tourism, including cute animal interaction, pet photography, movie hotel, trampoline , surfing, skydiving, paragliding and other activities.

Among the various micro-tourism formats, the development of the camping market is particularly notable. The internet is full of innovative short videos about camping. And camping gear sells well, and it’s hard to get campsites in country parks. Additionally, the camping market is increasingly attracting urban youth and young families who see camping as an “extension of their living room” and camping as a new way to socialize.

Camps have sprung up around Beijing and other major cities like mushrooms. Many urban parks and villages are full of camps. Camping plus flower viewing, camping plus RV driving, camping plus outdoor concert, camping plus travel photography, camping plus star gazing, camping plus fly fishing, camping plus paddle board yoga, cave camping adventure plus and other “camping plus” programs have become popular.

The concept of exquisite camping (Glamping) is also becoming popular. The rapid development of camping tourism has increased the demand for tents, awnings, cassette stoves, camping vehicles, outdoor tables and chairs, air mattresses, sleeping bags, camping clothes, etc. outdoor and other camping-related equipment.

China has around 45,000 camping-related businesses, of which more than 20,000 were established in 2021 and more than 5,000 in the first quarter of this year.

In addition, international outdoor equipment brands have increased their investment in China.

As China’s economy grows and consumer demand changes, micro-tourism, including camping and related industries, has great potential for development and will continue to promote RV manufacturing and development. and the sale of smartphones, video tools and other equipment.

To fully realize the potential of the micro-tourism market, more government guidance is needed on how to improve industry standards, safety management, sanitation, environmental protection, services emergency relief and anti-pandemic measures.

In the camping sector, for example, it is necessary to improve planning, functional layout and construction, strengthen management and offer better service support, in order to ensure the sustainable development of the sector.

If these problems are properly addressed, micro-tourism will not only stimulate the recovery of the tourism industry in the short term, but will also help diversify the tourism industry and facilitate its high-quality development in the long term.

The author is director of the Tourism Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Opinions do not necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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