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A New Image of Three Gorges Expected
The country is stepping up efforts to regulate tourist services in the picturesque Three Gorges area along the Yangtze River to ensure its sustainable development.

Sources with the China National Tourism Administration said that the administration, in collaboration with the Office of Three Gorges' Affairs at the State Council, is mapping out a programme to fine tune the development of tourism in the Three Gorges area, which includes parts of central China's Hunan and Hubei provinces as well as parts of Guizhou Province and Chongqing Municipality in Southwest China.

Wang Liming, an official in charge of the programme with the administration, said such a programme aims to provide an outline for the future development of tourist services in local areas in the wake of the completion of the Three Gorges Project.

The project, the largest hydroelectric power project in the world, is scheduled to be completed in 2009.

"A new spectacular scenery in the Three Gorges area will emerge after the second-phase project is completed next year, when the Three Gorges Reservoir begins storing water and the first group of power units become operational," the official said.

"Accordingly, new tourist routes should be developed, new infrastructural construction should be increased and the development of tourism should be adjusted."

Wang stressed that the programme will highlight local resources so that the duplication of construction would be avoided.

The unique scenes in the Three Gorges area are featured by high, steep and spectacular mountains that attract large crowds of tourists from home and abroad each year.

The Urban Planning and Design Center at Peking University is mainly responsible for drawing up the programme after winning a competitive bidding process.

Lu Bin, director of the center, described the programme as an arduous task due to the complicated number of factors it involves.

"The healthy growth of the local tourism and the sustainable development of the ecology, as well as ways to make a living for migrant people in local areas have all been taken into account in the programme," Lu told China Daily.

The three priorities of the programme include a marketing plan for local tourism, the inter-provincial co-ordination in the development of tourist resources and the planning for tourist cruise boats, Lu said.

He stressed that the establishment of a co-coordinating network is of great importance since the Three Gorges area involves three provinces and one municipality.

( China Daily August 21, 2002)

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