GETTING HIGH ON ADVENTURE
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.
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.