The Rise of RV Travel and Camping in China Amid the Pandemic

An immature industry is growing due to changing needs of travellers

  • 06:52 PM, 3 Aug, 2020

(August 3, 2020) The outbreak of COVID19 changed the way people travel. Recreational vehicle (RV) and camping, which are little developed in China, are now getting more and more popular. The pandemic urges people to pay more attention to the privacy and safety of travel. This explains why self-drive is becoming more favored and RV is witnessing increasing consumer awareness. 

According to Chinese OTA giant, during the May Day holiday, RV orders saw an increase of 600% compared to the data during the Tomb Sweeping holiday in April. RV was also favored during the Dragon Boat Festival in June, and was especially popular in Guangdong, Zhejiang and Shanghai areas. There are over 200 specially designed RV itineraries on shelf on, covering popular domestic travel destinations and their surroundings. 

According to, another key OTA player in China, short-haul RV tours are focusing on early adopter experiences in 1-2 tier cities and surrounding areas. And long-haul RV tours are favored by consumers aged 30-45 and focusing on destinations in Northwestern China and Hainan. 

According to Travel Link Daily's observations, RV related tourism products have also been enriched. Many online and offline travel agencies in China have developed and promoted customized RV travel products, mainly for 4-6 pax family travelers or friends. Some are even equipped with RV group leaders, designed to help novice RV travelers and make the vacation safer and easier. 

Spring Tour, one of the key tour operators based in Shanghai, explained that the pandemic urges people to pay more attention to health, safety, and social distancing. RV and self-drive satisfy the needs. Tour operators monitored the changed and enriched tailored RV products, to be offered after trans-provincial travel is allowed. 

China's RV industry started late compared with European and US markets. The RV market in China is still immature and the supply chain is not yet complete. Consumers have insufficient awareness of this way of travel. 

The outbreak of the pandemic has pushed tourists to attach great importance to travel safety and social distancing. RV satisfies those needs for pandemic prevention and so has become popular. For destinations with a well-developed RV industry, the improvement of Chinese tourists' awareness to RV tours is a new opportunity. Recently, Tourism New Zealand in China launched a series of RV travel live streaming to explain in detail RV travel resources and tips for driving in New Zealand. 

As more Chinese travelers are getting used to RV travels and camping, it can be foreseen that some of them might also look for RV travel and camping experiences in overseas destinations after the pandemic.  

Source: Travel Link Daily

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