The Great Wall was swarmed with tourists on Feb 5, 2014.[Photo by Song Wei/chinadaily.com.cn]
Chinese tourism authorities have issued a set of guidelines on how to determine the maximum number of people that should be allowed in at popular scenic spots.
The fresh guidelines were issued days after 36 people died in a stampede during a New Year event in Shanghai.
The national Tourism Administration has asked all tourists hot spots in the country to calculate their respective maximum bearing capacity and formulate appropriate emergency plans to control the flow of visitors.
This is the first time that a uniform set of guidelines have been issued nationwide.
The guidelines have defined standards for seven different types of scenic spots, such as sites with cultural relics and ancient districts.
For example, at the site of the world famous Terra Cotta Warriors, each person must have a space of 2.5 to 10 square meters to move about.
The guidelines also provide specific measures to control tourist flow. Tourists are encouraged to book tickets in advance so that managers of these scenic spots have a general estimate of the number of visitors on any given day. Tourists who buy tickets in advance can also enjoy a discount.
The guideline stresses that once the number of visitors reaches 80 percent of the maximum carrying capacity of a particular place, steps should be taken to control crowds and slow the pace of admitting new people.
Once the tourist number approaches the maximum carrying capacity, authorities in the scenic spots should make the visitors aware of this fact and even alert local government officials so that emergency control plans are on standby mode.
Once the tourist number reaches the maximum carrying capacity, authorities in the scenic spots should stop selling tickets.
Moreover, the new guidelines call for emergency control plans to be prepared for mega events as well as other festivities.
The new guidelines will take effect on April 1, 2015.