Editor’s Note: Three representatives of the U.S. RV and campground industries toured the Hangzhou International Outdoor and Leisure Fair March 4-7 in Hangzhou, China. The U.S. delegation included Joe Laing from El Monte RV, El Monte, Calif., Al Hesselbart, historian for the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc.’s Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.; and Bob MacKinnon, owner of MacKinnon Campground Consulting, Murietta, Calif. The trio spoke March 4 during a forum at the fair. A four participant was Wolfgang Bock of Deutsche Reissemobil, the largest RV rental firm in Germany. The Beijing Auto Camping Association (BACA) co-organized the Hangzhou Auto camping and RV forum. BACA representatives visited RVIA’s Louisville Show in December in Louisville, Ky.
In an effort to jump start the RV industry in China, more than 800 booths were showcased at the largest outdoor exhibition in Asia: Outdoor Lifestyle Hangzhou, held this past week (March 3-7) at the Hangzhou Peace Exhibition Center in the city of Hangzhou.
The Outdoor Hangzhou event was jointly organized by China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Light Industrial Products and Arts-Craft and Hangzhou Municipal Government. The auto camping and RV industry development forum is co-organized by BACA (Beijing Auto Camping Association).
The booths showcased outdoor living, garden decorations and sporting goods, and attracted reputed suppliers, buyers and agents from around the globe, offering numerous opportunities for participants to share in the latest technological developments. The fair also held forums, which served as a trading platform for the benefit of all participants.
“The event will lead the trend and fashion of Asia outdoor, leisure and garden industry, obtaining unanimous recognition and securing active participation of global players,” said Xing Yun, editor-in-chief of CCTV.COM, the camping tourism website. “The outdoor furniture and garden and sport items sector in China have made great progress in recent years. China has developed as a powerful player in this sector, with an export to the U.S., Europe and Middle East, increasing by approximately 30% each year. Outdoor Lifestyle Hangzhou will be built as the communication bridge for the outdoor products to the world markets, serving the whole of outdoor industry.”
Though the RV industry in China is still at its preliminary stage, we’re told, the Chinese people are beginning to accept the campground and RV concept.
“China local governments and much of the Chinese people give special attention to the auto camping , RV and campground (sectors),” Yun said. “Many China local governments will plan to build their camping and RV campground now. There are many beautiful views in China. The auto camping and RV industry is a sunrise (up and coming) industry for China.”
According to Yun, from 2004 to 2006, there was a Europe-China RV communications project named “CASE,” which is the first auto camping international cooperation and communicaions project. CASE partnership involves four associations: BVCD (the German Federal Association of Camping Economy), BACA and DCB (Danish Camping Board).
“Many Chinese people have been to Europe, the U.S. or other countries to visit their RV exhibitions and campgrounds,” Yun said. For example, BACA representatives visited RVIA’s 47th Annual National RV Trade Show last December in Louisville.
“I have visited Caravan Salon Dusseldorf in Germany,” Yun said. “Also some European companies in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland to visit their four to five star campgrounds. I also visited some U.S. campgrounds in 2009 after participating in the 47th RVIA trade show.”
Yun said people who pay the most interest in RVing in China include car owners (potential camping tourists), architects, land use planners, and construction companies, camping and outdoor clubs, manufacturers or traders of RV’s and equipment, car travel or leasing companies.