13 Jan 2017
Camping Retailers Set to Explore Taiwan's Great Outdoors Market
With Taiwan beset with a new generation of alfresco aficionados, many companies are keen to seize the outside chance.
Road running has been a popular pastime in Taiwan for many years now, triggering a love for outdoor leisure that has nurtured the growth of both camping and picnicking among local residents. Indeed, statistics from one camping association show that more than two million people in Taiwan now enjoy camping on a regular basis.
Inevitably, this particular trend has fuelled the sale of camping and picnic supplies, as well as of a number of food products best appreciated alfresco. With more and more organisations promoting the joys of outdoor eating, largely through such occasions as the TLC Taipei Picnic Day and the Vogue Picnic Party, this particular leisure-time activity looks sure to continue to grow in popularity for the foreseeable future.
A mountainous island with a number of natural scenic spots along its coast, Taiwan is particularly well suited to picnic culture. Even in its more urban districts, there are many parks and open spaces where families or groups of friends can easily go out and picnic on a fine day.
In order to cater to the needs of this growing army of picnickers, many hypermarkets now have dedicated picnic and camping displays in prominent locations or have set aside special sections for these goods. Overall, the most in-demand items are said to be picnic baskets, picnic mats and thermal/cooling bags.
Among the more hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, camping lamps, tents, grills, and even certain digital items, such as waterproof speakers, are very much sought after. Camping equipment, however, is far from cheap, with a basic tent costing anything from NT$5,000-20,000 (US$156-625). Given the high margins in the sector, it is no surprise that many companies are now extending their focus into the outdoor market.
Last summer, in response to the surge of interest in the sector, Taipei 101, the tallest building in Taiwan, became the first skyscraper in the world to allow visitors to pitch tents on its observation deck. This saw a small number of guests stay overnight, while a number of specialist guides gave them a brief instruction to astronomy and talked them through a few of the highlights of the surrounding cityscape.
The fee for the overnight stay, including evening snacks and breakfast, was NT$2,200 for those aged six and above and NT$1,500 for younger children. While the event was more focussed on promoting Taipei 101 as a must see tourist destination, it was also an apt reflection of the growing popularity of camping in Taiwan.
Sylvia Yeh, Taiwan Office