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May 24, 2019 – In recent years, with Wang Shi, Founder of Vanke, and Zhang Chaoyang, CEO of Sohu, climbing the Mount Everest, Feng Lun, Chairman of Vantone, and Wang Qiuyang, President of Antaeus Group, have also become mountain-climbing fans. Mountain area has great attraction and development potential in tourism industry with its diversified natural landscape and strong humanistic landscape.

Qi Lei, an expert in mountain tourism and President of Veni Academy, once said that mountain tourism was a big business, with a global annual production of US$ 90 billion, accounting for 20% of the world tourism industry. The Alps area is about 200,000 square kilometers, similar to the area of Guangdong Province, where tourism income accounts for 10% of the world.

Behind the prosperity of mountain tourism market, people begin to pursue a life style that is close to nature, relaxed and healthy. The government and enterprises also attach importance to exploring the cultural value of mountain tourism.


Mountain tourism picture shot by Luo Kun, Economic View

“Change a new lifestyle” becomes popular

Mountain tourism is a kind of tourism environment carrier with mountain natural environment as its main characteristics. It has natural tourism resources and humanistic tourism resources with characteristics of social life in mountain area such as mountains, rivers, animal and plant landscape, mountain three-dimensional climate, regional microclimate. Meanwhile, it is also a modern tourism form with mountaineering, camping, skiing, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, leisure and vacation, sightseeing, photography, fitness, entertainment and education as the main tourism activities.

In the process of outdoor tourism at home and abroad, there are obvious differences in travel equipment between domestic and foreign tourists. Most domestic tourists prefer to take sunscreen umbrellas/sunshade caps, then pull suitcases full of skirts or shorts, take sightseeing cars/ropeways to the top scenic spots destination, and then take pictures. So it is necessary that  domestic tourists pay more attention to leisure vacation function.

Whereas, the foreigners pay more attention to outdoor experience tourism, carrying a mountaineering bag, wearing professional outdoor equipment for several hours of mountaineering, in order to enjoy the success and self-defeat. In recent years, this kind of experience tourism abroad has been also awakening the masses of the people in China to think about the “essence of life”.

Last month, the “996” work mode in the domestic Internet industry attracted much attention. BAT giant employees also left messages on the Internet saying that “they have no time to accompany their families” and “they can’t remember when they last traveled with their children.” More people reflected on how to deal with the relationship between work and life, and began to explore a new way of life.

Mr. Lin, an outdoor sports enthusiast, once was a senior IT programmer in Zhongguancun Technology Park. Since 2008, he has transited into mountain tourism from the dull Internet industry. So far, he has been engaged in mountain tourism for 11 years. He has galloped on ski resorts in Begalsk, hiked for several days in deep bamboo forests in Qinling Mountains, climbed the Meri Snow Mountain at the border between Tibet and Yunnan, and experienced rock climbing/mountain biking in Fangshan and Miyun in Beijing.

“The work pressure in IT industry is relatively large, so the practitioners through outdoor sports such as hiking/mountain climbing to relax the body and mind, and then simply resigned and took the hobby as a job, change another way of life. Thus it can be seen that mountain outdoor tourism is an experience sport. By it, we can go where others can’t go and see the scenery that others can’t see. It can also exercise our cardiopulmonary functions and strengthen our bodies,” Mr. Lin said.

Zhang Min, General Manager of Lulianggou Intelligent Shared Outdoor Camp in Jiaozuo City, told the reporter of Economic View Client that working, eating and sleeping are the fixed lifestyles of most people, while the maintenance of parent-child family relations, the cultivation of health awareness and the training of team building are relatively lacked. 

“In recent years, the outdoor camp based on educational experience, outdoor sports experience and cultural experience has been welcomed by users. According to the regulation of tourism development in European and American countries, the new growth point of tourism development will be experience tourism in line with interactive sports. While family-oriented education experience tourism will be the main growth point of tourism. Mountain experience tourism is a kind of dual exercise of body and will.” Zhang Min said. 

The humanistic value of famous mountains and rivers 

Each kind of mountain tourism has different national characteristics, the different cultural phenomena of which is very attractive. Although mountain logistics and transportation are relatively not so convenient, it still retains the ancient way of interaction between people and resources. The beautiful natural scenery, rich folk customs, abundant local products, authentic regional culture, simple interpersonal relationship, abundant outdoor space, reclusive living atmosphere, coupled with Buddhist, glaciers, snow mountains, waterfalls, mountains, canyons, caves, cherished animals and plants and other unique spectacles in some mountainous areas, so mountain area has become a complex resort with natural and humanistic tourism resources.

In ancient China, there was a special love for famous mountains and rivers, including the feelings of respect and worship. From Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s frequent offering sacrifices to ancestors to celebrities’ visiting to mountains and rivers, mountains have always been the best place for people to pursue and yearn for, thus it also has numerous  immortal lines.

In fact, the ancient “mountain tourism” has a long history. Ouyang Xiu, a famous poet of the Northern Song Dynasty, recorded this method of mountain tourism and outdoor sports in Account of Inebriate Pavilion.

“The District of Chu is enclosed all around by hills, of which those in the southwest boast the most lovely forests and dales. In the distance, densely wooded and possessed of a rugged beauty, is Mt. Langya. When you penetrate a mile or two into this mountain you begin to hear the gurgling of a stream, and presently the stream — the Brewer’s Spring — comes into sight cascading between two peaks.” Few words describe the magnificent beauty of Mt. Langya and the flexibility of mountain springs. The poem also records the scenes of men, women, old and young singing and traveling together, fishing on the stream, picking mountain food and wild weeds, as well as playing chess.

Additionally, the poems including Account of Stone Pool (written by the well-known writer Liu Zongyuan of Tang dynasty), Ode for the Red Cliff (written by the well-known writer Su Shi of Northern Song Dynasty), Account of Praise Zen Mountain (written by the poet Wang Anshi), Account of Mount Heng (written by Zhang Juzheng, Cabinet Head of Ming Dynasty), and Account of Mount Tai (written by Yao Nai, the school of Tongcheng in Qing Dynasty), etc. all describe in detail about the tourism.


Mountain tourism picture shot by Luo Kun, Economic View

Although mountains and rivers have undergone the baptism and changes of the years, through the poetry and articles of the ancients, modern people can still have emotional resonance on the natural beauty of the ancients. People can still appreciate the magnificent momentum in Gazing on Mount Tai – “Try to ascend the mountain’s crest: It dwarfs all peaks under our feet,” described Du Fu in the Tang Dynasty; feel the sense of desolation in The Autumn Wind – “When autumn winds are sweeping clouds away, leaves fall and wild geese fly on southward way,” Liu Che described.

Most mountain areas are endowed with spiritual, energy and other sacred cultural connotations. Exploiting and utilizing mountainous cultural resources can enrich the contents of mountain tourism. In the experience of mountain tourism with historical and humanistic value, not only can the whole body organs of people be mobilized to be close to nature, but also arouse their thinking of life and nature.

The human landscape tourism resources in mountain tourism are composed of various social environments, people’s lives, historical relics, culture and art, national customs and material production. Since their respective traditional characteristics, they have become the objects of tourists’ sightseeing. They are the crystallization of human history and culture and the concentrated reflection of national features, containing not only the spiritual and material wealth left over from the long history of human beings, but also all aspects of nowadays human society.

The blue sea of mountain tourism market 

It is understood that the real mountain sports enthusiasts spend a lot of money every year to do outdoor leisure sports. Outdoor leisure sports include bicycle, cross-country, camping and so on. The mountain sports tourism constitutes the mainstream of outdoor leisure sports. In the United States, outdoor leisure is a major industry and has become an important driving force of the economy. The annual consumers of outdoor leisure spent amounts to $646 billion, providing 6.1 million posts. The data show that the annual average participant of outdoor sports is about 35 million, and the average cost of participation in the event is about 7,500 yuan per capita. Therefore, compared with the huge population base, the domestic mountain tourism market has strong and broad prospects.

The gorge resources of China are abundant, diverse and widely distributed. Mountains and extremely high mountains have unique landscapes, which are relatively closed and well-preserved. In some high altitude areas, glaciers and snow mountains are also widely distributed. Tourism resources in these areas are not available in other places, and the development of tourism has monopolistic advantages. The middle and low mountains are widely distributed in China, accounting for 60% of the total mountain area. Although they are not as magnificent as high mountains, they have the advantages of leisure, entertainment and sports, with great potential for development.

“It is common to see boys and girls abroad go camping or hike outdoors for dating, and the family camping trips are also common. China’s outdoor activities still remain niche ones. Couples usually date in cinemas and families take their children to shopping malls when they are free on weekends. Moreover, Chinese people’s leisure and green environmental protection consciousness of mountain tourism also need to be cultivated,” Mr. Lin said. 

Economic View Client has learned that in order to promote the sustainable development of mountain tourism and create a good mountain tourism environment, the International Mountain Tourism Alliance has issued an initiative to set up International Mountain Tourism Day to the whole world, and decided to designate May 29 as the special day every year. On May 29, 2019, the event of the first International Mountain Tourism Day will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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