West Coast New Area

Qingdao creates top beach leisure destination

( | 2023-04-17


Qingdao is a beautiful seaside city in Shandong province. [Photo provided to]

The beach-based leisure industry is empowering Qingdao's coastal tourism and becoming a new growth engine for the economic development of the seaside city in Shandong province.

From renovating clock towers, updating facilities, and building campsites to combining beach sightseeing with bars, bookstores, and sports, Qingdao is creating a popular leisure destination for visitors from China and abroad, while also bolstering new business formats and consumption in an all-round way.


People enjoy their leisure time along the beach in Qingdao. [Photo/IC]

Qingdao's leisure industry has undergone many changes over decades. In the 1950s and 1960s, seafood markets emerged in Cangkou. In the 1980s, coastal sightseeing made the city's bathing beaches popular around the world. Since the 21st century, the beach commercial complexes represented by the No 1 Bathing Beach have taken shape. Last year, beach bars attracted numerous tourists and unveiled a new chapter in leisure industry.

Li Yue, general manager of Huiquanwan, said that the post-00s generation accounts for a significant proportion of domestic coastal tourists, becoming a major driving force for consumption and affecting the business structure of the beach leisure industry.

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People camp on a beach in Qingdao, Shandong province, during the summer season. [Photo/IC]

"While introducing new businesses, we also expand beach sports, such as archery, baseball, volleyball, and Frisbee. These items are not subject to the number of tourists or seasonal factors and can prolong the cycle of the leisure industry," Li said.

Since 2019, Shilaoren Beach in Laoshan district has launched an original music festival integrating music, wine, coffee and a 24-hour bookstore, as well as helped build an international fashion city marked by its high quality of life and business-friendly environment.

"The festival has enriched the cultural connotations of the nighttime economy, lured many young people, and boosted the rapid development of homestays," said Yu Yating, a partner of the Napulan homestay.


Kids play on the beach in summer in Qingdao. [Photo/IC]

Professor Li Jingmei from the School of Economics, Ocean University of China, said that the diversified projects have enhanced the value of the city's beach leisure sector.

This year, Qingdao will build bathing beaches brands with distinct characteristics. For example, it plans to create a top resort integrating tourism, fashion, leisure, and sports at the No 1 Bathing Beach, as well as transform the No 3 Bathing Beach into "the most beautiful scenic spot".