THE GREAT WALL IS OPEN – CHINESE TOURISM RECOVERY ON THE WAY

Gary Diskin - Mar 30, 2020
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As China recovers massively from the COVID 19 virus that had the nation on lockdown and registered deaths in thousands, the industries in China are picking up at a quick pace. Various tourist sites are open as well – including the Great Wall of China.

Part of the Great Wall of China has been reopened for tourists. Badaling, the most visited section of the Chinese Wall, is a 3.7-kilometer path in an excellent state of preservation – thanks to the fact that it underwent restoration in the 1950s – where 19 watchtowers still stand. This portion of the wall is part of an even larger 12-kilometer section built by the Ming dynasty in the 16th century.

Badaling is one of the most visited sections, welcoming between 65,000 and 70,000 tourists a day until a few months ago. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese authorities ordered its closure on January 25, and now, two months later, the section reopens under certain conditions.

Visits will be limited to 30% of the usual number of entries. Tickets (which cost about five euros) can only be purchased in advance online.

Access will be controlled with a QR code linked to the visitors’ identity document, which will display their health status. If it shows green, the visitor will be allowed entry. Even so, all visitors must wear face masks and maintain a distance of at least one meter between each other.

Despite the reopening of this section, the Badaling museum dedicated to this work of military engineering and the cable car that offers scenic views will remain closed.

The measures taken are part of the Chinese authorities’ strategy of tourism recovery around the country. Only the open spaces, such as gardens and public parks, are considered for opening now. Iconic sites like the Forbidden City in Beijing, or Disneyland Park in Shanghai remain closed until further notice.

Four tourist attractions including the UNESCO World Heritage site Jiuzhaigou National Park in southwest China's Sichuan Province will also reopen on March 31 after being closed for around two months. The park would impose a limit of 10,000 tourists per day, while the other sites can receive no more than 50 percent of the maximum number of daily visitors. The staff of scenic areas are also required to check visitors' body temperatures before entering.

THE GREAT WALL IS OPEN – CHINESE TOURISM RECOVERY ON THE WAY

Currently, there are 3,714 destinations that are open to tourists in the country, which amounts to almost 40% of the total originally closed. As in the Great Wall, tourists visiting these sites have to pass a health check of coronavirus symptoms and must wear masks at all times.

The coronavirus outbreak in China has slowed down thanks to strict security measures. According to the Johns Hopkins University report, the country had 82,122 confirmed cases, of which over 3,300 died. Spain currently surpasses China in the number of deaths with a toll of 3,434.

As new coronavirus cases slow in China, different regions and factories have started opening for production and distribution. At least eight regions have resumed work even though drastic measures are put in place to ensure their safety and combat further spread of the virus.

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Comments

  1. While according to the authorities, the number of new infections by Covid-19 has collapsed in recent weeks in China, the gradual return to normal is also obviously a headache. Many tourist sites in Shanghai, which reopened in mid-March, have once again decided to close their doors for fear of a new wave of the epidemic.
    The Shanghai Tower, second in the world with its 632 meters, its neighbor the Pearl of the Orient have closed their doors to the public since the beginning of the week, as well as the Aquarium and the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum noted AFP. No reopening date has been announced.

    Martin (United Kingdom)

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