Chongqing City on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River plans to build the Three Gorges Reservoir area into one of China's most popular tourist destinations.
The reservoir, which began to fill with water on June 1, is part of the Three Gorges Project, now has a water level of 135 meters.
An official from the municipal government said that tourism development would be carried out step by step to make the most of the new dam.
In accordance with the requirements such as sustainable development, the municipal government has compiled a development plan regarding tourism development around the Three Gorges Reservoir, said the official.
He said that they would step up construction of infrastructure for tourism, especially building of major tourism works so that the Three Gorges area would have a new appeal for tourists.
The city hopes to host 20.6 million tourists, including 600,000 overseas tourists, and rake in 15 billion yuan (about US$1.81 billion) in total tourism revenue in 2007. The figures are expected to further rise to 23.8 million tourists and 20 billion yuan (about US$2.41 billion) in total revenue in 2010.
The construction of the mammoth Three Gorges Project, which was first launched in 1993, is due to be completed in 2009, when its 26 power-generating units with a combined capacity of 18.2 million kilowatts will be operational. It will be able to generate an annual average of 84.7 billion kilowatt hours of electricity upon completion.
(China Daily July 28, 2003)