Forbidden City braces for record tourist throng

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2001, 12:00am

One of Beijing's biggest tourist attractions, the Forbidden City, was bracing for a record 100,000 tourists this holiday season, the Beijing Evening News reported yesterday.

The likely increase from about 40,000 visitors during last year's National Day holiday had raised fears among staff members of the Forbidden City, the newspaper said.

The imperial city is an indoor-outdoor museum popular with foreign visitors and people from other parts of China.

To handle the expected increase, the museum is opening at 8.30am for travellers who come after watching the flag-raising ceremony at nearby Tiananmen Square. It will also open a special gate to tour groups. Visitors will be able to stay until 7.30pm.

The museum's 11 ticket windows will increase to 24, and two temporary ticket-selling vehicles will park at the gate.

An additional 26 ticket vendors will join the Forbidden City's usual 34 sellers.

A further 30 janitors have been hired for the holiday and 50 extra attendants will clean the 20 temporary toilets, as well as permanent facilities.

An unspecified number of emergency medical personnel and armed police officers will also be on hand.

Authorities will also patrol the Forbidden City to make sure food and drink prices do not rise illegally, according to the Beijing Evening News.