Officials and experts gathered to discuss building a pilot Great Wall national park and the protection of the Great Wall cultural belt at the 7th Capital Tourism Development Forum held in Beijing on Nov.11.
The Beijing section of the Great Wall ranges across six of its districts, with a total length of 629 kilometers. As of now, 67 kilometers of the wall is well preserved, while a total of 295 kilometers is still without adequate protection. The sections of Badaling, Juyongguan, Simatai, Mutianyu, Shuiguan and the southwestern extension of the Great Wall are open to the public.
Officials from the tourism departments said that by building the pilot Great Wall national park, Beijing will further tap into its cultural and historical resources and focus on building a series of cultural tourism brands, such as Badaling, Mutianyu and Gubeikou Great Wall.
The 2-kilometer-wide area along either sides of the 629-kilometer-long Great Wall will be the core area for protection and planning. Experts said they expected Beijing’s plan on the pilot Great Wall national park would benefit ecological conservation, development of conservation area and urban-rural integration.
According to a blueprint for the city's overall planning (2016-2030), Beijing has its sight set on building the Great Wall cultural belt, the canal cultural belt, and the Xishan mountain cultural belt.
Experts also stressed that building the Great Wall cultural belt is less about developing it into a tourist area but more about shaping an urban-rural community, where hundreds of villages can carry forward the Great Wall history and culture.
The protection of the Great Wall is considered the priority of developing the cultural belt, and any real estate development should not be allowed along the Great Wall, experts and officials said.