There comes a time when a nation with a population of well over 1.3 billion people and a land area covering over 3.5 million square miles decides to make a shift in its traditional methods of fueling the economy. At that point, there is bound to be the need for some creative planning to take place. But when that population is joined by tens of millions of foreign tourists each year, the solution starts to seem pretty clear. After all, this is the destination to visit impressive mountains, famous lakes and rivers, the Terracotta Army, The Great Wall, and perhaps the most lovable animal on the planet—the giant panda.
That’s right, China has been focusing its economic goals on the growth of consumerism and tourism of locals and foreigners alike. And what better way to appeal to the masses than by offering them the sky as well? The National Development and Reform Commission, which heads up the major economic planning in China, has set some pretty specific and quite lofty goals to continue to boost the economy. And it seems that one aspect in particular, of reaching those sky-high goals, is in urging thrill-seekers to take to the clouds themselves.
Skydiving has an allure that few other activities can rival. First of all, there is the futuristic, rebellious focus on the flight of us poor wingless creatures who can now indulge in the freedom of the sky that we’ve never known before. The exciting chance to truly experience the air up there blends perfectly with the latest trends of setting out to find the most exhilarating adventure possible. Perhaps there are even a few attempts to conquer a fear of heights. Whatever the case may be, it looks like the economic management and planning agency is barking up the right tree.
There were many specific targets pinpointed by the NDRC, including ideal numbers to reach by 2020. Hopes are set at seeing tourism dollars jump to 7 trillion yuan, or about $1 trillion by that time, with a goal of outdoor sports and activities raking in about 900 billion yuan, or over $129 billion. This was further broken down into detailed categories such as air, mountain, and aquatic sports, and monetary marks to hit for each. The nation will also likely be taking advantage of the buzz surrounding the fact that the Olympic Games will return to Beijing in 2022, making the city the first ever to have the honor of hosting both the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics.
While all those other sports have their own allure, there is just something about soaring through the air. With China’s objectives of constructing 2,000 “flying camps” and creating airborne activity clubs numbering around 1,000, the idea is to be bringing in at least 200 billion yuan (almost $29 billion) and enticing 20 million brave adventurers to the sky by the time the decade draws to a close.
China seems to be on to something here. Curiosity piqued? You don’t have to travel across the globe to make your first leap. Countless bold adventurers take to the skies all over the world, so chances are you will be able to find an ideal location near you. See what all the excitement is about, and get addicted to the rush of skydiving.