Self-driving tours on the rise in China

Under the attack of the pneumonia outbreak, more and more travelers choose to drive to tourist destinations, a way considered more convenient and less risky.


Statistics show that self-driving tours accounted for over 60 percent of the trips made during the Labor Day holiday that fell on May 1 to 5 in China this year.

Automobile accessory sales surged by 256 percent month-on-month from April 29 to May 4, according to data from China’s leading retailer Suning. Customer demand for tents, picnic blankets and sunscreen also registered a huge growth.

Self-driving tours have been developing in recent years, said Liu Hanqi, secretary-general of the Self-Driving Tour and Camping & Caravanning Association, explaining that self-driving tours not only enable travelers to better enjoy the local scenery and customs, but can lessen the pressure of tourist flow in the scenic areas.

With the popularity of self-driving tours, car-renting travel, which features a comfortable, clean and private experience, has become one of the best restored traveling businesses amid the pandemic, allowing people to sightsee an itinerary at their own pace.

This rising mode of travel has also generated new types of occupations, such as guides for self-driving travelers, a mechanic to fix the cars, tailored plans for the road trip etc.

“Universities should set up related majors and courses to train professionals in the field and meet the demands of the market,” said Xiu Xuejun, chairman of the China Federation of Camping and Caravanning.

Xiu also pointed out that the future for self-driving tours lie in caravanning travel and called on special camps and official agencies to be established to facilitate the development of the industry.