On January 17, 2024, Long March-7 Y8, carrying the Tianzhou-7 cargo spacecraft, was successfully launched. A growing number of “Space Fans” are coming to Wenchang, Hainan Province, China newest spaceport, to see the rockets and that of the city space-themed tourism is becoming more and more popular. The 2,100-year-old city in the northeastern part of Hainan Island is becoming “China’s version of Cape Canaveral.”
In recent years, Wenchang has actively explored the “aerospace +” model to develop tourism. Properties such as the seaside B&Bs and farmhouses featured in the site have been built in response to the trend, and a aerospace tourism the city is now taking shape. When rocket launches and tropical island scenery combine perfectly, the former hometown of overseas Chinese has undergone remarkable changes – transforming into a popular aerospace coastal tourism destination in China.
Wenchang has attracted many young photographers to “chasing rockets” every time there is a launch. In their opinion, this is the closest that ordinary people can get to space. “No matter how many times I watch a rocket launch, I am always deeply moved to cry,” said space photographer and Northwest Minzu University sophomore Tang Muzhi. He added that he hoped his photos would attract more people’s attention and love for space.
Zhang Zuoxing, also a photography enthusiast, wanted to share this amazing experience with more people and created Walking at 20, a travel organization for young people, after graduating from university in 2020 with his friends. They aim to provide inclusive travel and social opportunities for young people. “Wenchang Rocket Chasing Tour” has become the best product of the company. Watching the rockets in the gentle sea breeze has become a must-see experience for many tourists in Wenchang.
According to Ye Sheng, head of Longlou City, Wencheng, which has only 27,000 residents, it turns out that they have received more than 1.5 million tourists in the past two years because of the aerospace industry. Over 9,000 jobs have been created and the aerospace tourism industry has achieved an annual revenue growth of 15 percent. Local residents have benefited greatly as more and more aerospace-themed cultural and tourist activities are taking place there. Their door to the outside world has truly opened, bringing new knowledge and understanding.
“During major holidays and launches, we are always fully booked.” said Ju Zhuo, who runs Wenchang Ruoyuan Yuanshe B&B. Take the launch of the Wentian Lab Cabin Module in July 2022 as an example, this single event brought more than 200,000 tourists to Longlou Town, creating a boom in demand for hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and other related services. Some hotels even achieved record revenues of more than one million yuan in a single day.
Thanks to the aerospace industry, a very special tourism sector has developed in full swing, supporting local B&B businesses, farm stays, leisure fishing, tourism industries, science tours and more. tourist offers. At the same time, aerospace communities, aerospace schools, aerospace markets and other supporting facilities have also gradually improved.
The missile launch has not only brought a “tourism frenzy” to Wenchang and improved the living standards of local residents, but also spurred the transformation of the city’s industrial system.
As China’s only commercial space launch site, the commercial launch site in Hainan is the key infrastructure project of Wenchang International Aerospace City, which will be able to launch regularly in 2024. Until now, public platforms for aerospace science and innovation, such as the satellite assembly and test plant, the rocket assembly plant and the aerospace supercomputing center, have been completed and gradually put into use.
Liu Chong, mayor of Wenchang, said that Wenchang will gradually form its industrial advantage based on the commercial aerospace industry, accelerate the construction of the “three chains” industrial system (missile chain, satellite chain and data chain ) and “aerospace +” continuing to drive the transformation and improvement of traditional favorable industries such as Wenchang chicken, coconut and fishing.
It is predictable that the “aerospace craze” based on the “aerospace effect” will drive more industries to gather and grow in Wenchang, and China’s commercial aerospace industry will usher in a brilliant new chapter in the future.
SOURCE: PRESS RELEASE