The Beijing Expo Park, where the International Horticultural Exhibition took place in 2019, has become a camping resort this summer. Twelve camping areas named after the constellations at the park have recently opened to the public.
"When I see parents and children put down their mobile phones and enjoy their family time, I feel happy. All our efforts in organizing this camping festival have paid off at this moment," said Xue He, a camping operator at the park.
Located in the suburban Yanqing District of Beijing, the camping area covers about 280,000 square meters. It provides more than 1,000 camping spots where tourists can spend their leisure time on picnics, fishing, horse riding, boating, and many other activities, said Han Weiwei, a manager of the Beijing Expo Park investment and Development Co., Ltd.
At the camping area named after Sagittarius, tents are scattered in the woods, while a wooden trestle connects the campsites. "We pursue harmony between humans and nature, so the original vegetation was preserved as much as possible," said Liu Xiao'ou, an operator in the area.
"Horse riding is one of the most popular activities here," Liu said, adding that the campers can ride horses in the Sagittarius area under the guidance of coaches. Children can interact with Falabella miniature horses less than one meter in height at the camping area named after Capricornus.
"The Capricornus area features parent-child activities in which they can learn about the plants and animals together. Children can also put on costumes to join in theater performances. These activities will become memorable moments for all family members," Xue said.
As the altitude in Yanqing is higher than that in downtown Beijing, the expo park is much cooler in summer. "This is favorable for camping. These abundant activities have brought us much fun," said a resident surnamed Yin from downtown Beijing.
In the coming three months, the Beijing Expo Park is going to host over 30 activities during the camping festival, including bicycle races, fishing contests, and night runs, according to the organizers.
"The suburban and local trips have become popular in recent years, boosting the consumption at tourist destinations. Mountain areas have open spaces and beautiful landscapes, cultivating 'green tourism,' while the campers should also pay attention to environmental protection," said Dai Bin, director of China Tourism Academy.
To ensure a safe and comfortable camping experience, the Beijing Expo Park operation team has made the COVID-19 countermeasures in advance, specified the separation distance of camping tents, and further improved facilities like toilets, infant-care rooms, and the service center.
As one of the three competition zones for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Yanqing plays a vital role in developing an area that integrates sports, cultural, and tourist industries in Beijing and Zhangjiakou (the co-host city for the Games).
"In winter, I'm going to design and organize outdoor activities featuring ice and snow in Yanqing, making more families enjoy winter sports and contributing to tourism recovery," Xue said.