China plans hotel at Brahmaputra Grand Canyon

China, which is rapidly expanding the infrastructure in Tibet with billions of dollars of investments, would soon build a five star hotel at the picturesque Brahmaputra Grand Canyon to make it an international tourist spot.

Updated: Sep 02, 2010, 00:17 AM IST

Beijing: China, which is rapidly expanding the infrastructure in Tibet with billions of dollars of investments, would soon build a five star hotel at the picturesque Brahmaputra Grand Canyon to make it an international tourist spot.

A Chinese tourism company said it would build a five-star hotel near the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for Brahmaputra) Grand Canyon.

The hotel would be built atop a hill in Paizhen, a small town in Mainling County of east Tibet`s Nyingchi Prefecture, said Liu Jianyun, vice president of the Tibet Tourism Co Ltd.

"Paizhen sits at the entrance of the grand canyon, which is a buffer zone and not the core zone.

We will take low-carbon and environmental-friendliness into full consideration in the construction and management of the hotel," he said at the 6th Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon Culture and Tourism Festival, official Xinhua newsagency reported today.

The Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, along with Potala Palace, (official residence of Dalai Lama) and Mt Qomolangma, (Mt Everest) are known as Tibet`s three world-class tourist destinations.

The Brahmaputra flows through the canyon from the highest reaches compared to any other river in the world.

The canyon, discovered in 1994 in the Himalayas, was formed by a horse-shoe bend in the river where it flows around Mount Namjag Barwa.

Some reports earlier said that China plans to build a massive dam there.

The canyon provides passage for moist, warm air from India, which allows green tropical forests to grow there.

The hotel would be built at a cost of USD 14.7 million and it would have about 150 rooms in the first phase, Liu said.

"The project has been approved by authorities and the hotel`s design has been finished. The next step is land requisition," he said.

China`s rapid expansion of infrastructure and steady rise of the Chinese majority Han population in Tibet has been causing friction as local Tibetans resisted attempts to expand the mines and acquisition of land.

China in the recent years carried out massive expansion of infrastructure in Tibet, which included connecting the mainland with rail and road networks. Four airports have been built.

The central government, at a high-level conference on boosting Tibetan development earlier this year, has set a goal of developing the region into an important tourist destination in the world.

Liu said that the proposed five star hotel would highlight the traditional customs and culture.

Currently, Paizhen has no star-graded hotel, as the town can only receive about 300 visitors staying in a few small inns.

-PTI