Mountain Tourism Continues to Heat up and Domestic Tourism Market will Usher in the Era of “Mountain Vacation” 1

Economic View Client May 21 (Yan Shuxin) Mountain tourism, as a modern way of tourism, has been developing at an extraordinary speed in the past two years. From statistics, the mountain tourism has accounted for 20% of the total global tourism, showing an increasing trend year by year.

It is understood that mountains account for about 1/4 of the global land areas, 75% of the countries in the world own mountains, and China’s mountains, hills and plateaus account for 69% of the land areas. Industry insiders point out that relying on abundant mountain tourism resources, the domestic tourism market may usher in the era of “mountain vacation” in the future.

Mountain picture shot by Chang Tao, Economic View

Mountain tourism market continues to heat up

Mountain areas are not only a key tourism resource, but also an ecological resource for human’s physical and mental health. Mountain tourism is in line with people’s desire to return to nature and pursue health and happiness, and has been chased by more and more tourists.

It is understood that mountain tourism has a variety of types, including climbing, hiking, exploration, field development and other special projects, as well as tourism, leisure, recreation, sports, summer resort, research, etc. functions. Thus it can be seen that it is a modern tourism mode with rich contents.

On July 9, 2018, Shao Qiwei, Vice Chairman of the International Mountain Tourism Alliance, introduced at the 2008 Beijing Forum of IMTA that with the continuous development of global tourism, mountain tourism has been rapidly rising and becoming an important force to promote the development of global tourism. According to the statistics of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), mountain tourism has accounted for 20% of the total global tourism, and shows an increasing trend year by year, with considerable potential and prospects.

Meanwhile, the domestic mountain tourism market has also been gradually warming up. According to the Mountain Tourism Consumption Report in 2017 published by Lvmama, the number of people booking mountain tourism products through its platform increased by about 70% in 2017. Among them, Yellow Mountain in Anhui province, Emei Mountain in Sichuan province, Guilin Kars and Mount Putuo in Zhoushan city have become the popular mountain tourism destinations in China.

Dai Bin, President of China Tourism Academy, introduced to the reporter of Economic View Client, that China has unique advantages in developing mountain tourism. First, we have abundant mountain tourism resources, and the area of mountain, hill and plateau accounts for nearly 70% of the total land areas; second, with the development of history and the evolution of civilization, many famous mountains in China are linked to religious culture and scholars calligraphy; third, the living standard of residents has been improving with highlighting population advantages.

“Our country has a population of 1.4 billion. With the development of economy and society, people are getting richer, and their demands for traveling are getting stronger and stronger. Plus the improvement of traffic conditions, mountain areas become accessible, and more and more people begin to choose mountain tourism,” Dai Bin said.

The Tourism Research Center, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has pointed out in relevant reports that China’s mountain areas are diverse in shape, landscapes and folklore. Based on these natural advantages, China’s mountain tourism will be in the leading position around the world.

Would the era of “Mountain Vocation” be forthcoming?

It is understood that mountain tourism has a long history in China. After the 21st century, China’s mountain tourism market began to enter the stage of scale development.

The data show that, after the development in recent years, China’s mountain tourism has been transiting from the traditional model of famous scenes to the comprehensive development model, including mountain recreation tourism, mountain sports tourism, mountain ice and snow tourism, mountain summer resort tourism, mountain vacation tourism and so on.

However, Dai Bin believes that tourism demands are still the basic demands of mountain tourism in China. He pointed out that in the current situation, most of the tourists visiting mountain scenic spots still mainly focus on the view of mountains, rivers and scenery.

According to the report, Lvmama also mentioned that in 2017, more than 40% of the tourists booked mountain tourism products through its platform chose mountain tourism, and about 30% of the tourists tended to experience mountain culture. Another 15% of the tourists chose mountain leisure tourism and 10% of the tourists chose mountain vacation.

“Objectively speaking, the market demand for mountain vacations in China has not yet fully risen, and is still in the period of market introduction,” Dai Bin said.

But it is undeniable that mountain vacation has been becoming a major development direction of mountain tourism in China.

Wei Xiao’an, Chairman of the China Leisure Association, told the reporter of Economic View Client that vacation has become a rigid demand in the international tourism market.

“At present, the main resorts in the world are on the coast. However, China’s coastal resources are insufficient, and it is impossible for Chinese people to travel overseas for vacation. Therefore, in the future, Chinese vacation is likely to turn to mountains, villages and so on. From this point of view, mountain tourism is bound to become a hot spot in China’s tourism development,” Wei Xiao’an said.

Mountain Tourism Continues to Heat up and Domestic Tourism Market will Usher in the Era of “Mountain Vacation” 2
Mountain tourism picture shot by Luo Kun, Economic View

Seek the development shoulder to shoulder

In the process of mountain tourism development in China, the market parties such as scenic spots and travel agencies are actively contributing their strengths.

Taking the Wild Seascape Area in Shuicheng County, Liupanshui City, Guizhou Province as an example, the track of the sightseeing train in this scenic area was recently certified as the “the highest spiral plate lift-straddle monorail bridge” in the world. It is understood that the starting point of the sightseeing train in Wild Seascape Area is located in the Yi Nationality cultural town of Haiping. The terminal point is in Yushe Forest Park. The track length of the sightseeing special line is about 11 kilometers and the height difference is 220 meters. All the facilities are made in steel girder structures. The circular diameter of the rail girder in the spiral viewing section is 60 meters with 6% slope and 720 meters length. It is a three-and half-spiral structure and rare in China. When the vehicle travels to the spiral section of the monorail bridge, there will be a landscape similar to “small train climbing the building”.

For industry insiders, the “magic train” not only gives the connecting function of the scenic spots in the Wild Seascape Area, but also brings a brand-new sight-seeing and traffic experience for tourists, and promotes the development of tourism products to high-quality and high-end.

In fact, travel agencies also play an important role in the development of mountain tourism. The related principals of Lvmama Group once said that travel agencies need to further strengthen cooperation with local governments and tourist attractions around mountain resources, integrate various elements such as food, housing, travel, shopping and entertainment, develop diversified mountain tourism product lines, complying with the trend of the Internet, to jointly promote the construction of intelligent tourism with scenic spots, and the brand building and development of mountain tourism in China.

It is worth mentioning that in order to promote the sustainable development of mountain and ecological tourism, promote international exchanges and business cooperation in tourism, and summarize the successful experience of promoting the development of mountain tourism, the International Mountain Tourism Alliance was officially established on August 15, 2017. According to the public document, the International Mountain Tourism Alliance was initiated in Guizhou, a major province of mountain tourism. It is the second international tourism organization established in China and the only professional international organization defined by mountain tourism.

In 2018, the International Mountain Tourism Alliance issued an initiative to set up an International Mountain Tourism Day to the whole world, and decided to designate May 29 as the special day. On May 29, 2019, the first International Mountain Tourism Day will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

He Yafei, Secretary-general of International Mountain Tourism Alliance, told the reporter of Economic View Client, that tourists are no longer confined to viewing beautiful scenery and tasting delicious food at this stage. They more expect to experiencing health preservation, sports and other projects while traveling, including experiencing the unique culture of mountain areas and enjoying its unique ecological environment.

He Yafei pointed out that in order to meet the new demands of tourists on products, patterns and services of tourism, we must have new supplies. Moreover, the realization of new supply requires constant innovation in the industry. He introduced that the International Mountain Tourism Alliance will provide an international platform for institutions and enterprises related to mountain tourism. On this platform, industry insiders can exchange, promote, collide and cooperate with each other to jointly develop new tourism projects.

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