Home  >  Travel   >   Plan Your Trip
Plan Your Trip

Paragliding rides take flight on Hainan island

China Daily | Updated: 2020-11-27


A visitor experiences paragliding with an instructor in Boao, Hainan province, on Oct 5. MENG ZHONGDE/FOR CHINA DAILY

HAIKOU-A frequent visitor to the southern island province of Hainan, Huang Zuolin recently had her first paragliding experience. "It felt terrific," said the 23-year-old from Central China's Hunan province.

"I felt like I was a bird flying up high, and photos taken in the air were great. During the eight minutes I spent paragliding, I had a bird's-eye view of the sea, forests and farmland, and I was very relaxed there. I also tried spinning in the air with the help of the coach. It was thrilling."

Hongjiaoling aviation camp, located in the coastal county of Lingshui, is one of five aviation camps in Hainan recognized by the Aero Sports Federation of China.

Co-owner Cui Shengda, 38, is a native of Shaanxi province. Enthusiastic about the potential of low-altitude flying tourism, he moved to Lingshui from another aviation base in Hainan in April last year.

"The takeoff site at Hongjiaoling is 360 meters above sea level. Here you have a panoramic view of the 12-kilometer coastline. The magnificent scenery of the sunset and sea view is breathtaking," Cui said.

After being open for more than a year, the Hongjiaoling aviation camp has gained in popularity."The number of visitors has been climbing over the last two months,"Cui said. "The price for a paragliding experience is 880 yuan ($129) per person and currently we can facilitate about 2,000 to 3,000 visitors every month."

Though still a novelty in China, low-altitude flights have been popular in the United States, Australia and other countries for decades.

"Low-altitude airspace has been gradually developed in China in recent years, alongside the development of the economy, society and the demand for customized tourism products," said Chai Yong, executive director of the International Hospitality Management School of Sanya University in Hainan.

Hainan is building a national sports tourism demonstration zone, developing international sports tourism products and exploring new growth industries.

Chen Shihong, director of Lingshui's bureau of tourism, culture, radio, television and sports, said Hainan's warm climate and lush environment, together with supportive policies, have provided sound growth potential for outdoor sports.

Low-altitude tourism, including helicopter sightseeing, paragliding, parachute jumping and hot-air balloon rides, is undergoing rapid growth.