world of aviation logo

Wenchang’s emergence as a pivotal aerospace hub

written by Newsdesk | February 15, 2024

Wenchang's emergence as a pivotal aerospace hub

The picturesque town of Wenchang, located in Hainan Province, China, is swiftly becoming the center of attention for space enthusiasts worldwide, particularly following the successful launch of the Long March-7 Y8, which carried the Tianzhou-7 cargo spacecraft into orbit on January 17th. Reinforcing its status as “China’s version of Cape Canaveral,” Wenchang is witnessing a surge in space-themed tourism, attracting visitors keen on experiencing the majesty of rocket launches firsthand.

In recent years, Wenchang has embarked on leveraging its unique position in China’s aerospace industry to cultivate a specialized form of tourism. Developing facilities like seaside B&Bs and showcasing local culture through farmhouses, the town is gradually morphing into a vibrant aerospace tourism town. The fusion of rocketry and the island’s natural beauty has profoundly transformed this 2,100-year-old town, boosting its reputation as a premiere destination for aerospace coastal tourism in China.

Many young photographers are drawn to Wenchang, captivated by the ability to closely witness the wonders of space exploration. “No matter how many times I watch a rocket launch, I’m always deeply moved to tears,” remarked Tang Muzhi, a space photographer and student at Northwest Minzu University. Tang hopes that his photographs will inspire a greater appreciation and love for space among the public.

The town’s unique offerings have also inspired entrepreneurs like Zhang Zuoxing, a photography enthusiast turned travel organizer. In 2020, Zhang and his friends founded “Walking at 20,” a travel organization aiming to provide young people with immersive experiences and social opportunities. The “Wenchang Rocket Chasing Tour,” which allows visitors to watch rocket launches amidst the gentle sea breeze, has quickly become the organization’s flagship offering.

Remarkably, over the past two years, Wenchang, with a modest population of just 27,000, has welcomed more than 1.5 million tourists due to its burgeoning aerospace industry. This influx has resulted in the creation of over 9,000 jobs and elevated the aerospace tourism industry’s annual income by 15 percent. “During important holidays and launches, we are always fully booked,” shared You Zhuo, proprietor of the Wenchang Ruoyuan Yuanshe B&B. The launch of the “Wentian” laboratory cabin module in July 2022 alone attracted over 200,000 tourists to the town.

The aerospace industry’s influence extends beyond tourism, steadily reshaping Wenchang’s industrial landscape. The Hainan commercial launch site, poised to commence regular operations in 2024, stands as the cornerstone of the Wenchang International Aerospace City project. Mayor Liu Chong shared, “Wenchang will gradually form its industrial advantage based on the commercial aerospace industry,” highlighting the city’s efforts to construct an aerospace-led industrial system.


As Wenchang continues to harness the “aerospace craze,” it becomes increasingly clear that the city is set on a trajectory to significantly impact not only the local community and tourism sector but also the broader narrative of China’s commercial aerospace ambitions.


Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year