El Monte RV has a prominent role in adopting nationwide standards for RV travel and tourism in China, according to a Chinese news release.
The release comes on the heels of a visit to China by El Monte’s Joe Laing, part of a U.S. delegation visiting the 3rd Annual Hangzhou China Outdoor Lifestyle Show March 4-7 and six months after a sizable Chinese delegation visited the National RV Show last December in Louisville, Ky.
Laing was invited to be part of a 10-person forum addressing Chinese media and government officials on concerns related to the establishment of a viable recreational vehicle industry and its related lifestyle in China. The international group was coordinated and hosted by N-Tours International, a tour promotion firm based in Beijing.
According to this week’s news release, China is to formulate a set of standards for motor touring centers, the China Automobile High-tech Industrialization Commission (CAHC) told a press briefing at the State Council Information Center in Beijing on Saturday (May 29).
“The domestic motoring travel market is huge, with as many as 200 million motorists touring every year, and more than 5,500 service centers scattered nationwide,” Chen Dongsheng, secretary general of CAHC, told the press.
“But the service centers lack adequate infrastructure and common service standards,” he added. “We are taking the initiative to formulate standards to regulate travel centers and create a comfortable environment for motorists.”
Chen said the draft standards would be ready by September. They will cover 11 areas, including hospitality, caravan (RV) sites, service facilities and security.
The standards will apply to automobile clubs, rescue services, parking sites, reception centers and vehicle after-sales services. “We are inviting them to work together to develop the standards,” Chen told China.org.cn.
El Monte RV, a U.S.-based rental company, will help draft the standards. “Recreational vehicles represent a new type of lifestyle in China. You can just drive your house around without worrying about booking accommodation,” said Yang Lin, deputy secretary general of CAHC and general manager of El Monte RV, China.
“Recreational vehicles have great potential in China. We plan to invest about 200 million yuan ($30 million U.S.) to build RV towns where motorhome drivers can stay while touring,” Chen said.
An intelligent booking service platform will also be set up. “With a click of the mouse, drivers will be able to get any information they need, and thus will save them both time and money.” Chen told China.org.cn.
The Chinese have jumped head first into accommodating the growing RV industry.
“What we got from the show is that there are a lot of Chinese people interested in RVing,” Laing told RVBUSINESS.com upon return from his tour. “The question remains how that interest will work itself out. Everyone is unsure how the Chinese RV industry is going to further evolve. The thought I most expressed to them is they should use the American RV industry as a framework or guideline. We have the most successful RV market and the best RV market in the world.”
China has an existing camping population, but it is nearly all tent camping and the existing campgrounds are organized for tenters only. The country also has a selection of national parks and other camping attractions. However, there are less than 50 RV campgrounds in all of China and no network of retailers or RV support businesses or publications.