Best of the Press: Officials end Gorges landscape tourist site

A very Chinese attempt to attract tourists:

Officials end Gorges landscape tourist site

Zhang Liuhao

Shanghai Daily, 2006-08-25

WORKERS have begun demolishing a man-made tourism complex of mini Three Gorges landscapes in Yichang City, central China’s Hubei Province.

The complex was a cluster of miniature landscapes representing scenes in the Three Gorges area. It is located on an island seven kilometers from downtown Yichang, a Hubei newspaper reported.

The complex, whose first phase was completed in 1996, covered an area of 80,000 square meters, it said.

The city’s Yiling District government and the Yichang tourism administration reportedly invested a total of more than 40 million yuan (US$5 million) in the project.

The government previously expected the complex to replace the scenery on the either bank of the Yangtze River in Three Gorges area to attract more tourists, as they believed the building of the country’s Three Gorges Project, a gigantic hydropower and flood control facility, would damage the magnificent landscapes of the Three Gorges area.

However, the construction the Three Gorges Project has come into its last stage, and the beauty of Three Gorges remains.

Yichang is also a city close to the Three Gorges area. Tourists preferred the natural landscape of Three Gorges to the artificial replica, leaving the complex with dwindling numbers of visitors.

Authorities also said the construction quality of the complex was poor, and did not merit renovation.

The facility, once considered the world’s largest man-made landscape cluster, was forced to stop operation.

Many local officials have admitted it was a wrong decision, the newspaper said. The complex will be demolished before the end of the year.

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Categories: Shanghai

Originally Created: 08/25/2006 07:57:01 AM
Last Edited: 08/25/2006