Recreational vehicles to embrace greater acceptance
Updated: 2012-03-23 09:27
By Wu Wencong and Yang Wanli (China Daily)
Sales predicted to move into top gear, Wu Wencong and Yang Wanli report in Beijing.
Wang Xudong is obsessive about the great outdoors. So much so that he named his week-old twins Lu and Ying, after luying, the Chinese word for camping. Allied to that love, Wang has an almost unshakable belief that the future of China's recreational vehicle industry is bright. Rather like Mr Toad in Kenneth Grahame's classic children's book The Wind in the Willows, the wide open road is everything for Wang.
And he may have a good reason for being so optimistic, having witnessed the development of China's RV industry almost from its inception.
Ten years ago, when Wang and his brother founded 21rv, the country's first professional website dealing in RV-related news, few people in China had any idea what an RV was. In June, a convoy of 15 RVs will head to Europe on a three-month road trip.
The flow of domestic tourists in China reached 2.6 billion in 2011, a jump of 13.2 percent from the previous year, generating revenue of 1,930 billion yuan ($305.5 billion), a rise of 23.6 percent, according to figures revealed by Shao Qiwei, head of the China National Tourism Administration, at a January conference in Guangzhou.
By August, ownership of motor vehicles in China exceeded 100 million. The distance traveled on the nation's expressways was 74,000 kilometers, second only to the United States with 80,000 km, the National Bureau of Statistics said in February.
In the meantime, a rise in incomes in the major cities has made the future appear even more promising in a country where vehicle ownership has been rising at breakneck speed. Statistics from local authorities show that per capita GDP in Beijing and Shanghai topped $12,000 last year, approaching the levels seen in developed economies, when measured by the World Bank's criteria.
Wang Xudong at the ongoing Beijing International RV and Camping Exhibition (March 22 to 25) at the Beijing RV Expo Center, Changyang CSD, Fangshan district. [Wang Jing / China Daily]