Hot air balloons loom high on tourist horizon
Updated: 2013-10-29 16:24
By Hou Liqiang (chinadaily.com.cn)
The H1 China Hot Air Balloon is held in Hongan county with 30 participating teams from Sunday to Tuesday. [Photo by Hou Liqiang/China Daily]
There are high hopes that hot air balloons will promote tourism in China, experts said during an event in Hubei province.
The H1 China Hot Air Balloon competition was held in Hong'an county with 30 domestic teams from Sunday to Tuesday. The public also had an opportunity to experience the thrill of floating in the air during the competition.
The event was held in a bid to attract more tourists to visit the county, the home of more than 200 generals who contributed greatly to the foundation of the People's Republic of China, Yu Xuewu, Party secretary of the county said.
To welcome tourists, the county has built three hotels and another five hotels are to open next year.
Li Yongjun, a referee at the event who has been flying hot air balloons for 13 years, told China Daily that they are a big hit among tourists and have relatively cheap maintenance costs.
Li said there is huge potential and a number of people have made inquiries about running similar events.
Cao Xiwa, a principal researcher at China Tourism Forum echoed Li's views.
Li said, however, that pilot training and safety guidelines had to be upgraded.