GET­TING HIGH ON AD­VEN­TURE

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By XU XIAOMIN in Shang­hai

xux­i­aomin@chi­nadaily.com. cn

The world’s first Dis­cov­ery Ad­ven­tures Park has opened in a val­ley in Zhe­jiang’s moun­tain­ous re­gion, of­fer­ing out­door en­thu­si­asts a com­pre­hen­sive se­lec­tion of sur­vival and ad­ven­ture skills pro­grams as well as the chance to scale China’s largest rock climb­ing wall.

Lo­cated in the Mo­gan­shan moun­tains in De­qing county, the park cov­ers about 130,000 square me­ters and is the largest tourism com­plex in the area which is al­ready a hotspot among lo­cal trav­el­ers thanks to a num­ber of high-end de­signer bou­tique hos­tels.

The county gov­ern­ment is hop­ing this new park will be­come an­other fa­mous land­mark with which it can use to boost tourism, said Luo Guo­jian, di­rec­tor of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of De­qing County Peo­ple’s Con­gress, dur­ing the park’s open­ing cer­e­mony on April 26.

The park’s de­vel­oper APAX Group is co­op­er­at­ing with Dis­cov­ery Com­mu­ni­ca­tions to pro­vide an ar­ray of out­door pro­grams such as wall climb­ing, zip-lin­ing,all-ter­rain­ve­hi­cle­tours, moun­tain bike cour­ses, hik­ing routes, ob­sta­cle chal­lenges and sur­vival skills train­ing.

“Dis­cov­ery Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is the world’s No 1 pay-TV pro­gram­mer that has nearly 3 bil­lion cu­mu­la­tive sub­scribers in more than 220 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries. Now we want to do some­thing new like sur­vival train­ing, to give peo­ple some unique chal­lenges,” said Nicolas Bonard, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of Dis­cov­ery Global En­ter­prises.

Mem­bers of the in­ter­na­tional coach­ing team, en­gaged by the park and Dis­cov­ery Com­mu­ni­ca­tions to­gether, hail from coun­tries in­clud­ing China, the United States, Europe and Sin­ga­pore.

“Ev­ery vis­i­tor in the park will be un­der the su­per­vi­sion of pro­fes­sional coaches and guests and can even re­quest for 24-hour coach­ing ser­vices if nec­es­sary,” said Ter­ence Chu, chair­man of the park and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of APAX Group.

“Af­ter un­der­go­ing the cour­ses, we will take peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence out­door ad­ven­tures in Mo­gan­shan, other parts of China or even out of the coun­try,” Chu added. “Our park is not Dis­ney­land. Our park is a school to teach peo­ple sur­vival skills. This is a place where peo­ple of all ages can come mul­ti­ple times.”

Chu said the mar­ket for out­door ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties in China is still in a nascent stage, though po­ten­tial is huge see­ing as to how the coun­try has a slew of ex­cit­ing and scenic sites in sec­ond- and thirdtier cities that have yet to be de­vel­oped.

“There is a weird phe­nom­e­non tak­ing place in China. The busi­nesses that cater to out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, such as gar­ments, shoes and bags, are boom­ing, but many peo­ple just don’t know how to use them cor­rectly. Peo­ple are in­ter­ested in out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, but they need the right train­ing,” said Chu.

In 2015, the in­come gen­er­ated by China’s tourism in­dus­try grew about 12 per­cent and there were 4 bil­lion peo­ple trav­el­ing within the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by the China Tourism Acad­emy in Bei­jing ear­lier this year. Fur­ther­more, in­vest­ments in China’s tourism in­dus­try have grown 42 per­cent in 2015 com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

“A new era of tourism has just started, and many prov­inces in China such as Hainan and Sichuan are plan­ning big out­door sports projects,” said Chen Zhe, deputy chair­man of China City and Cul­tural In­dus­try De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion.

The sec­ond and third phases of the Mo­gan­shan park will cover about 1 mil­lion square me­ters in to­tal and will fea­ture more hotel rooms and fa­cil­i­ties. An­other im­por­tant goal is to col­lect big data from China’s ad­ven­ture sports.

“Col­lect­ing data dur­ing the park’s op­er­a­tions will be help­ful to the re­search and de­vel­op­ment of wear­able prod­ucts. This data will also be vi­tal in bet­ter un­der­stand­ing peo­ple’s in­ter­ests and safety stan­dards, es­pe­cially for the Chi­nese mar­ket,” Chu said.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The Dis­cov­ery Ad­ven­tures Park cov­ers nearly 130,000 sqm and will of­fer vis­i­tors a wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ex­pe­ri­enced teams will be on hand to guide vis­i­tors at the park.

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