What Happened: Short trips and staycations were how Chinese spent their Labor Day holiday this year, amid COVID-19 control measures and ongoing domestic travel restrictions. Of these, “glamping” (glamorous camping) came out on top. According to travel booking site Qunar, ticket sales for parks that allow campsites increased by over 50 percent compared with the same period last year. Ctrip data also shows that on the first day of the holiday, its online traffic for “camping” reached a historic peak and the search volume increased by 90 percent from the week before.
The Jing Take: Glamping has become one of the hippest trends among young Chinese travelers since COVID-19 hit the country in 2020. Distinct from its perception as a niche experience favored by outdoor enthusiasts, the high-end outdoor activity has now hooked a broader consumer demographic. Aside from the experience of nature (and the draw this represents for those in urban centers), its connotations of glamor and luxury translate well to social media: on Xiaohongshu, there are over three million campaign-related UGC posts, from snapshots of gear to the adventure itself.
This booming trend has projected a promising future for the outdoor equipment and apparel market. As Daxue Consulting forecasted, the sector is expected to reach $100 billion (666.8 billion RMB) by 2025.
Luxury houses have been quick to tap this opportunity. Last year, Prada unveiled its Outdoor Collection, a special ready-to-wear range inspired by the great outdoors. And local players like the lifestyle brand Beast launched Spring 2022’s “Inspired by Camping,” with gear like mats, night lights, and portable cookware, as well as fragrance gift boxes.
Glamping shows no sign of going anywhere. The challenge for luxury companies is not whether to engage — that’s a given — but what to offer. As the market saturates with more of the same traditional gear, there is money to be made for a label that can think creatively.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.