Who popularized picnic in the post-pandemic China?
As an imported outdoor activity, picnics are now embraced by young Chinese, worshiping the delicate lifestyle, and its safety - it is an outdoor activity anyway, which has a specific meaning after the quarantine is relaxed. And this spring, why do picnic come in the spotlight?
First, pandemic related restrictions offered a specific condition for its popularity. During the Labor Day Holiday, travelers have shifted their sights from inter-provincial and outbound travel to short-haul tourism, as cross province and overseas travels are still not allowed. Local parks have become the top choices. According to Quarkdata, Alibaba's smart search APP, search volume of short-distance travel increased by 120% during Labor Day Holiday.
The picnic trend has been popularized by social media. Social media speed up communication and are proven to be highly effective in promoting tourism. TikTok, short video APP in China, previously helped to promote city tourism, leveraging its advantages in content forms, channels and algorithm, achieving wider spreading communication of city brand. For the popularity of picnic, Red APP is the leading social media engine behind. Red APP, also known as Little Red Book, is a leading lifestyle social media platform integrating e-commerce. It has more than 100 million MAU, 70% of its new users are post-90s. And it is highly focused on young female users. Red launched “city picnic” campaign last month, leading and encouraging users to sharing picnic related content - for example “picnic outfits" and "picnic photos". The campaign attracted over 40,000 participants, achieving over 19 million topic views, and the quality content triggered explosive community interaction, making “picnic” the most on-trend topic on platform and among all consumers.
Picnic related UGCs on Red
With the picnic upsurge, related industries see profit opportunities
The picnic upsurge has spurred a boom in sales of place-mats, tablecloths, balloons and other accessories supplies and accessories, benefiting related businesses. In order to attract more guests, some merchants have further launched picnic package including exquisite supplies, selling at a higher price to obtain more profits.
Hilton Summer Picnic Package Introduction
High-end hotels also responded to the picnic trend. For example, Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhail launched their ‘Summer Picnic Package,’ featuring services like Picnic Butler, private lawn, picnic basket customized by the five-star chief, restoring the traditional European picnic experience. Other hotels like Four Seasons in Hangzhou, Banyan Tree in Sanya also launched picnic afternoon tea for their customers to enjoy in the garden.
Many travel agencies have introduced picnic to their products and packed with focused promoting.
Picnic popularity indicates the rise of experiential tourism
The boom of the Picnic reflects the consumption upgrade of Chinese tourists. Accenture pointed out in a 2019 report that "disruptive experiences are reshaping tourism.” In the context of the prevailing experience economy, the traditional travel model is unable to fully meet the changed needs. Enhanced travel experience with more interactions is attracting more attention, while picnic is one of the ways that can bring in-depth experience.
Thanks for the forward-looking insights into the upgrading Chinese travelers’ needs, Airbnb introduced "Trips" into the Chinese market as early as 2017. 15,000+ local experience projects allow travellers to have immersive and interest-oriented local travel experience. Bookings for “trips” increase nearly 7 times year-on-year.
In future, more travel experiences similar to "picnic" are believed to emerge and become trendy in China market. In the context that travel and culture will eventually merge, responding well to market’s call for subdivided and high-quality travel experiences will be the key to success.