Tourism authorities in the Yangtze River Delta have designed five tour routes for motorhome drivers as part of an effort to spur development of the nascent recreational vehicle industry.
According to a report by the Oriental Morning Post, the routes provide motorhome drivers with a guide to the major tourist sites in the region, as well as some of the trailer parks where they can park their vehicles for the night.
Most of the tourist spots on the routes are in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, as well as Shanghai. One route runs along the East China Sea from Lianyungang in northeastern Jiangsu Province to Wenzhou in southeastern Zhejiang Province.
The provincial and municipal tourism bureaus in the region are planning to build up the infrastructure along the routes to support the use of the vehicles, which usually have their own bathrooms, kitchens and sleeping quarters.
By 2020, the governments in the four regions plan to build 400 to 500 such trailer parks, where drivers can fill up on gasoline and water, dump their waste and plug into the power grid to recharge their batteries.
Some high-class parks also offer recreational facilities. There are currently plans to build 14 such camps in Shanghai, including one at the Shanghai Sheshan National Tourist Resort in Songjiang district.
There are 8,500 motorhomes in China, said a manager surnamed Jing with the Shanghai Zhongtianxing Motor Home Club. Still, the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Bureau estimated that the number of tourists traveling via motorhome will reach 3 million to 5.5 million by 2020 in the Yangtze River Delta.
“The popularity of private cars has laid the groundwork for motorhomes,” said Gu Xiaoming, a professor in the Tourism Management Department of Fudan University.
The vehicles will most appeal to young people with a healthy sense of adventure, Gu said.
“The motorhome is not just a means of travel, it is a lifestyle,” Jing told the Global Times. “Residents have not yet warmed up to motorhomes. The best way to promote the industry is to encourage them to embrace this new lifestyle.”