Back in the day, if you wanted people to enjoy the mountains and nature, it was enough to create a national park with some hiking trails. Then people wanted a visitor’s center and some roads to tour the area. Then it was ski resorts and helicopter tours.
Now “skywalks” are all the rave.
It started with one on the south rim of the Grand Canyon in 2007, allowing visitors to walk in a U-shaped path made of glass over the rim and peer down to the rocks 150m-240m) below.
Last year, Austria built a Skywalk 400-meter high suspension bridge at the Dachstein glacier.
And in the thin air above Chamonix, the Aiguille du Midi (French for “needle of the middle”) has added one of their own, though it’s a bit more skybox than skywalk.
As with Segway tours and pedestrian bridges, this is now becoming a popular tourism attraction concept. The idea is that by adding more man-made contraptions, the destination and better help city dwellers appreciate nature. (“Hey, the nature is safely on the other side of the glass window, just like you have it in the city. Enjoy.’)
And it works.
It’s all about destination development. You need to create new ways to help people enjoy your natural resources and culture.
Here’s a sneak peek of the new Glacier skywalk opening in May in Alberta, Canada.