Three Gorges tourism drying up

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 December, 1999, 12:00am

An anticipated surge in overseas tourists wanting to cruise down the Yangtze River has failed to materialise, leaving ports near the Three Gorges full of idle luxury boats.

Most of the 60 luxury vessels that travel through the area remain docked in Chongqing, Yichang and Wuhan, yesterday's Beijing Morning Post reported.

Last month, only two of the cruises were operating.

The number of overseas tourists taking a Three Gorges cruise has dropped from a peak of 100,000 in 1994 to fewer than 50,000 this year up to November.

At least 10 of the 28 cruise operators had closed. Many of the survivors were heavily in debt.

Foreign interest has cooled due to poor services and less-than-impressive scenery because of construction work.