China's Three Gorges Dam region will receive 26.9 billion yuan (US$3.5 billion) from 2007 to 2020 to develop tourism to provide jobs for people relocated for the project.
The investment aims at realizing the government's plan to build tourism into the pillar sector in the Three Gorges Dam region, in order to generate 20 billion yuan, or 24.7 percent of the area's GDP by 2020.
The Three Gorges tourism development plan, which outlined the investment schedule, issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, has been approved by a group of experts in tourism and city planning organized by the government.
Li Chunming, vice governor of central China's Hubei Province, said a booming tourism industry could provide relocated households with stable incomes and would not threaten the already fragile ecological environment.
The fund, financed by government allocations and outside investments, would be used to upgrade the tourist ferries along the valley, build roads and docks forming a traffic network, improve tourist facilities and traffic infrastructure such as accommodation and catering, preserve historic sites and the develop culture-oriented attractions.
The blueprint includes a national top-class rafting route and cultural tours based on two famous historic figures, Qu Yuan and Wang Zhaojun, whose hometowns are in Hubei Province.
(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2007)