"Ghost City" Foresees Tourism Boom After Dam Project

In 2009, when the mammoth Three Gorges Dam is completed and reaches 175 meters tall, the whole county seat of Fengdu, known as the "Ghost City," in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, will be under the river water of Yangtze.

However, the dam project will bring no negative impact on the well-known tourist resort, Mount Mingshan, the home of the "King of Hell" in the Chinese legend, where visitors could make a fancy journey to "Hell." On the contrary, the higher river water will turn the Mount Mingshan into a peninsula that the tourists will be able to easily sightsee by either car or boat.

As one of the major tourist destinations in the Three Gorges Area, on the Yangtze River, Fengdu received 910,000 visitors including 73,000 from abroad who contributed 140 million yuan to the local revenue, or 70 percent of the total. Last year, the National Tourism Administration rated “Ghost City” AAAA.

To diversify the local tourism sector, the county is now planning to build a number of new tourist sites including a lakeside resort, a plantation, a river-drifting program, and a Karst cave, according to the county magistrate, Du Haibo.

The Three Gorges Project affects 20 counties in Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province, including six counties that will their county seat completely under water and relocated. As one of the six to be completely submerged, Fengdu is now building a new county town on the opposite bank of the country's largest river.

(Xinhua 07/17/2001)

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