Tue, June 28, 2011
Lifestyle > Travel

China to restrict clubs, tear down hotel to protect West Lake

2011-06-28 02:19:07 GMT2011-06-28 10:19:07(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

HANGZHOU, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Administrators will restrict the number of exclusive clubs and tear down a protruding hotel near east China's scenic West Lake in order to protect the UNESCO World Heritage site from excessive commercial exploitation, a local official said Monday.

West Lake, long touted as a paradise for its breathtaking landscape, was inscribed into the World Heritage List list at the 35th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in Paris last Friday.

"We are committed to turning West Lake into a World Heritage 'without threshold' by strictly restricting the number of hi-end business venues," said Wang Shuifa, an official of the city of Hangzhou where the West Lake is located, at a press conference Monday.

Wang, who was in charge of the World Heritage application program for West Lake, said hi-end venues will not account for more than 5 percent of all business venues around the West Lake, banning venue operators from using membership or minimum consumption to exclude clients.

The official said government officials are also considering tearing down the East Wing of the Shangri-la Hotel Hangzhou when the land-lease contract with the hotel operator ends in 2035.

The building is too high and blocks the view of the lake, Wang said, adding that the plan to tear it down has not been finalized.

Wang said a ceiling on height will be set for buildings around the lake.

The government will also improve infrastructure and site management to avoid congestions caused by the influx of tourists at peak travel seasons.

Statistics show that about 30 million tourists visit West Lake each year, with the peak of tourist arrival hitting 2 million per day.

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