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"Green Hotels" A Growing Trend in China
As "pollution-free" has become an officially important standard to grade a hotel, the Chinese hotel industry has become increasingly aware of environmental protection.

"To acquire the four-star rank, we've made security, health and no pollution as our top priorities in the construction of this hotel," said Gong Ping, manager of a newly-opened hotel in Wuhan city of central China's Hubei Province.

According to Gong, all decoration materials and equipment in the hotel, including bath tubs, ceramic tiles and plaster plates have been put to radioactive tests. And no disposable wooden chalk, plastic bags or foam containers are allowed to be used in its restaurants.

To spread the knowledge of environmental protection to customers, the hotel also declared its green state in its Guide Book to seek cooperation and support from guests.

On March 1, China's State Economic and Trade Commission issued a regulation to detail the industrial criteria for green-hotel rating consisting of five grades.

Han Ming, president of the China Hotels Association, said they plan to set up 1,000 green hotels this year and will strive to popularize the new standards in the country's hotel sector.

Green hotel grading was originally started in 1997 in Denmark, Canada and Japan, Han said. Currently in China, such hotels can be only found in large metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao. In Hubei, there are only two at present.

(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2003)

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