China / Society

County official parachutes from 3,000 meters to promote local tourism

By Liu Wei ( Updated: 2016-06-23 13:36

A county official in Hubei province live streamed himself parachuting for the first time to win more attention to boost local tourism.

Chen Xingjia, secretary of the Badong county Party Committee in southwest Hubei province, with no experience of parachuting, jumped from three kilometers above the earth on Tuesday to draw people's interest to the small county, reported Legal Evening News.

In the resulting video, Chen, in a white T-shirt, prepared with the professionals, sometimes briefly communicating in English.

He looks calm and determined the whole time. When he with his professional parachute companion jumped out of the helicopter that raised them high in the sky, he opened a square banner emblazoned with Badong's tourism logo and held it until they landed.

Chen came up with the idea of parachuting with Xu Kai, a Chinese wingsuit jumping veteran, saying that making the jump himself before the World Wingsuit Championship in Badong would be the best way to publicize the county.

"They said they didn't know of any other secretary of a county party committee that has done this," Chen said.

Chen said 3,000 meters is a considerable height, since professional parachuters usually jump from this point.

"I'm a little afraid but it's a risk I can take," he said.

The bold official intended to use the event as a breakthrough to brand Badong as an ideal place for extreme sports.

He said tourism is the best way to develop Badong, as the local farmland and industry are limited in their growth potential.

This is not the first time the county official put himself out to boost the local tourism industry.

In 2015, Chen sang a local folk song in a music video (MV) to promote the local abundant scenery.

According to Chen, they planned to hire a singer to complete the song but he handled it himself as officials thought it wouldn't be worth it to spend 200,000 yuan ($30,420) on a singer to promote the MV.

He said there were 155,000 hits the first night the video was uploaded online.

"They call me 'internet famous' when it's reported by the news outlets," Chen said. "All I care is if more people visit Badong after the promotions. I'm pleased to say now Badong is packed during the holidays.”

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