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Tea-themed park to debut in Spring Festival
Latest Updated by 2007-02-07 09:19:04
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A tea garden and a hot spring in East Overseas Chinese Town (OCT), an ecological resort in Sanzhoutian, Yantian District, will officially open to the public during the upcoming weeklong Spring Festival holiday. This was disclosed by Li Xiaogan, the city's tourism chief, at a work meeting yesterday.

Li said his bureau will push on with the construction of the second and third phase of the East OCT project as well as other seaside resorts in eastern part of Shenzhen this year.

Tea Valley, one of three theme parks in East OCT, will have a soft opening Friday, Cui Yinan from the OCT Group confirmed yesterday.

The holiday resort, with a total investment of 3 billion yuan (US$375 million), was originally scheduled to open in October last year, but was delayed due to slow progress in construction.

First approved by the Shenzhen Municipal Government in March 2003, the project began construction at the end of 2004. The resort, consisting of three theme parks, has attractions like a hot spring town similar to Interlagen in Switzerland, two luxury hotels, a train and a cable car for sightseeing, a tea garden, a bamboo garden and 13,000 square meters of wetland. The resort, on virgin land along the city's east coast, has eco-friendly solar power, sewage treatment and transport systems.

Also at the meeting, Li said the tourism bureau will allow more domestic and foreign travel agencies into the local market to encourage competition.

"We have opened the local hotel market long ago, and competition has helped a lot in upgrading the hotel facilities and management. The State will drop all restrictions on setting up branches by domestic and foreign tour agencies Feb. 1 and July 1 respectively, which gives us more freedom in introducing competition in this sector," he said.

Another official revealed on condition of anonymity that China Travel Service (Hong Kong) Ltd. is in talks with the bureau about opening a branch in Shenzhen this year.

The tourism bureau expects to receive 65.6 million tourists in 2007, a 7-percent rise over last year. Among these, 25.4 million will stay overnight in Shenzhen, 9.7 percent more than last year. The overall tourism revenue will rise 9.9 percent from 2006 to reach 50.6 billion yuan, including US$2.46 billion in foreign exchange revenue.

Editor: Yan

By: Li Dan Source: Szdaily web edition
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