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Beijing parks set tourists admission ceiling
Updated: 2004-05-01 10:38

Major parks in Beijing have taken measures like setting tourists admission ceilings or increasing entrances and exits to avoid possible stampedes as they are expecting a soaring number of tourists and local park-goers during the May Day holidays.

"We have required all major parks in the city to take necessary measures to guarantee the safety of the visitors, with emphasis laid on the prevention of stampedes," an official surnamed Zhang with the Beijing Municipal Parks and Gardens Administration said Saturday.

The Chinese capital witnessed a major stampede tragedy in early February this year, in which 37 people were killed and 15 others injured as they were enjoying a lantern show in an overcrowded park in Miyun, a suburban county in northeast Beijing.

Sources say that the Zhongshan Park in downtown Beijing, very close to the Tiananmen Square, has set its tourists admission ceiling at 20,000, which means tourist admission will be suspended once the number of people in the park exceeds 20,000.

However, officials with the Parks and Gardens Administration said that all parks had tried their best to expand their reception capacity and facilitate tourists flows during the holidays.

The Summer Palace, a royal garden for Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) emperors in northwest Beijing almost as famous as the Forbidden City, has raised its reception capacity by means of adding several entrances and exits, opening 11 provisional ticket offices and setting up 6 tourists reception centers. It is now able to receive some 100,000 visitors simultaneously.

As the February stampede in Miyun had occurred on a narrow bridge, some parks have imposed one-way passage restrictions on all narrow sections, especially on the bridges, the officials added.

The Chinese have been enjoying a 7-day public vacation from May 1, or the International Labor Day, to May 7 for several years as the government is eager to promote tourism and stimulate domestic spending. The May Day holidays, dubbed "the golden week for tourism", usually see tens of millions of Chinese travel around the country mainly for sightseeing.

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