Shanghai should take a lead from West Lake in Hangzhou and develop its waterfront to help boost tourism, a local official said recently.
Zhang Liangyi, a member of the municipal people's congress said the city's main waterway, the Huangpu River, has similar features to the famous lake in Hangzhou, a city which has been called "heaven on earth", the Shanghai Morning Post reported on Friday.
"Both cities have central water features, which are popular with tourists and have lots of attractions dotted around them," Zhang said.
In 2005, Hangzhou received 1.5 million overseas and almost 33 million domestic tourists, who spent $760 million and 40.4 billion yuan, respectively, according to the Hangzhou tourist committee's website.
And while there are no specific figures relating to the West Lake, it is listed in almost every tourist guidebook and is one of the city's key attractions.
"The Huangpu River has many scenic attractions and historical sites, just like West Lake, but they are not yet as popular," Zhang said. He suggested they could be put to better use but didn't elaborate.
Zhang Gang, a delegate to the Shanghai People's Political Consultative Conference, said the construction of walkways, like those at West Lake, to connect the two banks of the river will help promote tourism and improve access.
They are already in the city's development plans, the Shanghai Morning Post said.
According to plans released recently by the Shanghai municipal urban planning bureau, roads around the Huangpu River in the central city area are to be expanded and promenades and walkways are to be developed along the riverbanks and surrounding areas.
The walkways will connect the city's key areas, such as public squares, tourist attractions and ferry terminals.
The new road layout will help direct traffic away from the waterfront, and alternative forms of transport are also being considered to reduce pollution in the area, the bureau said.
(China Daily June 26, 2007)