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New Great Wall sites in tourism blueprint

[ 2009-11-17 14:31]     字号 [] [] []  
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The Great Wall may open three new sections totaling 50 km in a government-funded move to protect the World Heritage site over the next five years.

A proposal released yesterday by the Beijing municipal administration of cultural heritage said it will open up as many as three new sections of the wall. But it didn’t state where they are located.

A spokesperson for the administration told METRO that Huanghuacheng and Qinglongxia, both located in Beijing's less-developed Huairou district, were good candidates.

Expanding the Great Wall is part of the government's 3-billion-yuan project for the conservation of its cultural heritage between 2010 and 2014. The conservation also includes other historic sites like the Ming Tombs, the Old Summer Palace and the Fragrant Hills.

The cultural authority said by opening up new sections of the Great Wall, it would not only attract more fans from other countries but also reduce damage inflicted by campers who break into restricted areas.

"The 'wild wall' with little supervision remains ecologically fragile when visitors approach it. That's why the administration hopes to conserve them and make them suitable for tourism," Wang Yuwei, director of the heritage protection division of the administration, said.

However, no development companies in the region would provide details of the expansion yesterday.

Some Great Wall fans in Beijing yesterday said they want the sites to stay untouched.

"Do they really need more tourists?" Michele Hearty, an attorney who moved to Beijing from London in June, told METRO. "I don't think so."

"Gaining more access to those areas is important for tourism because it would help local communities around those areas," Aaron Davis, a landscape architect from Florida, said.

Beijing boasts nearly 530 km of the Great Wall. Four sections, totaling 30 km long, are currently open to tourists and attract six million visitors annually. They are Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai and Juyongguan.

The heritage site is a favorite destination for China's most prominent guests. Tomorrow, US President Barack Obama will pay a visit to the Mutianyu section in northeast Beijing on the final excursion of his maiden journey to China.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

New Great Wall sites in tourism blueprint

About the broadcaster:

New Great Wall sites in tourism blueprint

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.