Helicopter sightseeing tours gain popularity in China

Updated 2018-02-24 09:53:01 Xinhua

Mount Wudang, known for its Taoist temples in central China's Hubei Province, began helicopter tours during the Spring Festival holiday.

A project between general aviation operator Reignwood Group and Shiyan City, the helicopter departs from a parking lot in front of Mount Wudang. Tours last around 15 minutes and cost 600-plus yuan (95 U.S. dollars) per person.

"I was overwhelmed by the amazing scenery from above," said Liu Yi, a tourist from Wuhan, capital of Hubei.

Despite rain and snow, nearly 100 people took the tour during the holiday.

Helicopter sightseeing tours have become popular. Around 700 tourists took sightseeing rides around Shaolin Temple in central China's Henan Province during the holiday.

In Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, tourists can take a helicopter tour of the city. At Xinjiang's Ili Nalati grassland and Beijing's Great Wall, helicopter tours are popular.

More than 20 new helicopter routes opened in 14 provincial-level regions in the first half of 2017.

China is set to boost its general aviation industry to create a market worth more than 1 trillion yuan by 2020.

Li Hu, a civil aviation officer with Wuhan's traffic committee, said that low-altitude tourism faces many challenges such as bad visibility,airspace control, high prices and a lack of pilots.

"But the future of this sector is promising," he added.

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