Luxury camping in China
If you ask what kind of hobbies a middle-class city family or GenZs in China now have, they might all tell you one thing: “Glamping”. Also known as “Glamorous Camping”.
“Glamping” has already existed for over 10 years in the US, England, and Japan, and it has become popular since the pandemic started in China as people started to search for less crowded places.
In Chinese, we call it 轻奢侈露营 or light luxury camping. It is not about exploring the wilderness and trying to survive. It is about family and friends driving to a beautiful place outside of the city and creating a “new living environment” to relax.
What does “Glamping” look like in China? Check out some photos here:
There are two types of “Glamping” in China.
Type 1: Everything is already there and you don’t need to bring anything. It is almost like staying at a hotel.
Type 2: Driving to a free space and "building" a new home.
Check out these two locations as an example to gain an impression:
This type of “Glamping” is more like transforming standard hotel rooms into tents and campers. The price also doubles and one night costs between 1,000-2,000 RMB (about 145-285 Euro) per room.
The unique selling point here, compared to a hotel, is that it is not about just sleeping and eating. Instead customers should have the feeling of “playing”.
Thus, the facilities around the tents and campers are crucial and lead to repurchases. There should be entertainment areas and a petting zoo for children, watersports as well as car racing zones for adults, Western-style restaurants as well as a BBQ area with organic food for the whole family, a bonfire and singers in the evening, a place to have nice starry sky photoshootings at night.
The “problems” of hotel-like “Glamping”?
- The rooms are often booked out very fast, which makes a spontaneous weekend trip impossible
- Everything will be provided and prepared, which has little in common with actual camping
Do it yourself “Glamping” means, you will purchase all the necessary equipment in advance, search for a free space and drive there. The location could be a public riverside, a park, or forest. There are also a few camping places with water and gas tanks, you might also be able to rent a tent there.
(In Germany, there are rules which forbid camping at places that are not intended for camping. There are no such rules in China because camping with tents etc. was not a regular thing Chinese people do.)
Our colleague in Beijing found this place near the city two years ago, back then, only two families were there. This year, it is full of cars and tents. Copyright: Spiegel Institut China.
Check out this link to get an impression of how luxurious tents are built:
It is not uncommon that people spend more than 50,000 – 60,000 RMB ( about 7,000 – 8,500 Euro) on “Glamping” relevant equipment at the beginning. A nice looking tent already costs more than 10,000 RMB ( 1,500 Euro. Besides that, you still need the following equipment:
- Portable power stations
- A small refrigerator
- Fancy multi-pots
- Manual coffee grinder
- Ice maker
- Fancy lunch boxes
- Bluetooth speaker
- Chairs and cushions
- Carpets and blankets
Car manufacturers also see this opportunity and start to develop camping relevant features, such as the camping modus “Li”, which transforms regular seats into a bed.
XPeng Motors, a manufacturer of electric cars, even organizes camping events. Here are some photos of sleeping spaces with projectors:
What does this mean for business?
- As mentioned in the beginning, luxury camping is about driving to a free space and creating a new home from zero
- Driving and living are the two keywords, all products that are relevant for comfortable outdoor and in-car living are needed in this scenario
- It is about being “luxurious”, thus nice-looking and high quality things are desired
If you are interested in finding out what manufacturers should do to fulfill the user's needs, feel free to contact us: email@example.com
Author: Yue Liu, Spiegel Institut Mannheim