New sections of China's Great Wall to open to tourists
Two sections of the wall located near Beijing are to be opened to the public to help cope with rising visitor numbers
An adventure holiday to China could soon include a visit to sections of the country's famous Great Wall that had until now been closed to members of the public.
Authorities in the country are embarking on plans to open up parts of the wall located at Huanghuacheng and Hefangkou, both of which are located close to the capital Beijing.
The sections will be opened to visitors once the addition of necessary protection and safety facilities has been completed, reports China Daily.
According to the newspaper, the move comes in response to the increasing visitor numbers that come to see the wall each year, which is placing a growing strain upon the ancient relic.
Other sections of the Great Wall are undergoing repair and renovation works to help them better cope with rising tourist numbers.
This includes extending the visitor facilities at two of the sites currently already open to the public at Mutianyu and Badaling, said Kong Fanzhi, chief of the Beijing's cultural relics bureau.
"The move is to better protect the ancient relics by diverting the visitors and reducing the load on the ancient fortifications that are currently open to tourists," he told the newspaper.
Currently, there are four sections of the Great Wall located in Beijing that are open to visitors, at Mutianyu, Badaling, Simatai and Juyongguan.
Wang Jingjing, a tour guide in the capital, said she hoped that the renovations and new sections would not only help to protect the monument from too many tourists but also make a visit more enjoyable courtesy of smaller crowds.
"You see nothing but huge crowds of people," she said. "Opening more sections will allow more people to appreciate the national relic."
Earlier this month, it was reported that a state survey of the Great Wall had put its total length at some 21,196.18km, far longer than had been previously thought.