Demand for camp education is set to boom in China, as more parents seek fun learning experiences for their children, according to industry insiders.
Compared with the US or Japan, where summer camps and student outings are already big business, the industry is still in its infant stages in China.
Yet the market is forecast to grow from the current 8.56 billion yuan (.3 billion) to about 400 billion yuan over the next five to 10 years, according to a report by the China Camp Education Research Institute and the China Camp Education Alliance.
The prediction was based on surveys of more than 300 enterprises involved in camp education.
"China has more than 160 million primary and middle school students, and about half live in urban areas. If just 30 percent visit a camp once or twice during the 12 years from primary school to high school, the market size still sounds considerable," said Wang Huan, co-founder of Green Camp, a company in Beijing that organizes camps for students.
"In China, it's a comparatively new concept, but it's gaining increasing popularity along with similar activities, such as study tours."
He said his company has witnessed 100 percent growth in the number of campers it has received for two consecutive years, reaching about 4,000 this year.
Zhao Wei, the founder of Ideascamp, also based in Beijing, said China has come late to camp education but predicted it will be a "sunrise industry" in the coming decades.
In December, the Ministry of Education and 10 other central government departments released a series of guidelines to encourage primary and middle schools to organize educational excursions for students.