New regulation to protect West Lake
Updated: 2012-01-06 21:30
HANGZHOU - A new regulation has taken effect to protect east China's scenic West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as the lake has drawn an increasing number of tourists who may cause damage to the local environment, local authorities said on Friday.
The regulation, which became effective January 1, will restrict the number of tourists, automobiles and boats that may visit or operate in the 3,323-hectare scenic zone, said Ye Maodong, a spokesman with the Standing Committee of the Municipal People's Congress of the city of Hangzhou, where the lake is located.
West Lake was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List at the 35th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee held in Paris on June 24, 2011.
The number and scale of activities held at the site will also be restricted under the new regulation, Ye said.
To avoid excessive commercial exploitation, authorities said earlier that they will also restrict the number of exclusive clubs in the area and tear down a protruding hotel near the lake, as the building is too high and blocks the view of the lake.
The government will also improve infrastructure and site management to avoid congestion caused by the influx of tourists during peak travel periods.
Statistics show that about 30 million tourists visit West Lake each year.