Sichuan to create giant panda tour route


Southwest China's Sichuan Province, internationally famous for its giant pandas, is planning to establish a tour route for fans of the rare bears.

The province says it will create an "international giant panda ecological tour route" by integrating the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, 46 nature reserves and three mountainous panda habitats, local newspaper the Chengdu Business News reported on Thursday.

The route is circular and can be divided into a north line and south line, both of which start at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan's capital city Chengdu.

Meanwhile, a 53-hectare theme park called Panda Kingdom will be opened in Chengdu featuring a hotel, a research area, a park and panda-themed businesses.

Sichuan also plans to construct four other panda-themed projects during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), namely "Panda Happy Land" in Dujiangyan, "Panda Hometown" in Baoxing, "Panda Homeland" in Wolong and "Panda Valley" in Bifengxia, according to the Sichuan Development and Reform Commission.

According to the commission, the route's target guests are tourists from both China and abroad as the number of panda fans around the world is increasing.

The planned improvement of the province's highways will also help tourists, especially ones who choose to drive themselves along the route, the commission said.

Giant pandas were first found in Sichuan in 1869 in the Baoxing area. Now Sichuan is home to the world's largest natural giant panda habitat. As of 2013, there were 1,387 wild pandas living in Sichuan, accounting for 74.4 percent of China's total, as well as 314 captive-bred pandas, the report said.

Source:Global Times

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