Big cir­cus ex­pected to boost vis­its to Hu­nan

Rus­sian-style show will form cen­ter of ma­jor de­vel­op­ment in Zhangji­a­jie

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By SU ZHOU in Bei­jing and FENG ZHIWEI in Chang­sha

Zhangji­a­jie, Hu­nan prov­ince, added to its world fame as the in­spi­ra­tion for the fic­tional world of Pan­dora in the movie In 2017, it hopes to draw in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion as it cre­ates a per­form­ing cen­ter for a Rus­sian­grand cir­cus.

The pro­ject is an ele­ment of Sino-Russia tourism and cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion and the lat­est man­i­fes­ta­tion of the city’s am­bi­tion to build it­self into an in­ter­na­tional tourism des­ti­na­tion.

The cir­cus will cover 43,000 square me­ters, with af­fil­i­ated ho­tels cov­er­ing an­other 24,000. To­tal in­vest­ment is ex­pected to reach 800 mil­lion yuan ($120 mil­lion) and bring 20 per­cent more tourist vis­its to the city. An­other 1.2 bil­lion yuan will be in­vested in build­ing up the sur­round­ing area as a Rus­sian-style en­ter­tain­ment park.

Mao Zhip­ing, chair­man of Zhangji­a­jie Dacheng Shan­shui Ho­tel, said the cir­cus pro­ject is ex­pected to start in Septem­ber and is planned for com­ple­tion in one year.

“Dacheng Shan­shui Ho­tel will be in charge of in­vest­ment and construction, while the Rus­sian cu­ra­tors will be deal­ing with all the tech­ni­cal mat­ters, in­clud­ing the ar­range­ment of gyms and re­hearsal halls, back­stage space ar­range­ments and other ad­min­is­tra­tive af­fairs,” said Mao. “The performance team will have more than 300 peo­ple.”

At the same time, the Zhangji­a­jie cir­cus will host an in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­val ev­ery De­cem­ber, dur­ing which ac­ro­bats from more than 20 coun­tries are ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate and com­pete for medals, Mao said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Rus­sian TASS news agency, Edgar Za­pashny, who di­rects the Moscow State Cir­cus, said the build­ing that houses it— the biggest one in Europe — could fit eas­ily in­side the new cir­cus build­ing in Zhangji­a­jie.

Avatar. With such a grand new show, many young peo­ple, and even small chil­dren, will have fun here.” pub­lic­ity di­rec­tor of Zhangji­a­jie city

Wang Jian­jun,

Es­ti­mated foot­print of the Rus­sian-style cir­cus Ex­pected to­tal in­vest­ment in the cir­cus pro­ject

From January to April, Zhangji­a­jie re­ceived 13.2 mil­lion vis­i­tors, with 150,000 vis­its paid by overseas tourists, an in­crease of 19 per­cent over the same pe­riod last year.

And the Rus­sian-style cir­cus will bring Zhangji­a­jie more fame around the world, said Wang Jian­jun, the city’s pub­lic­ity di­rec­tor.

“Per­for­mances of theMoscow cir­cus are unique and the top show world­wide,” Wang said. “In the past, many tourists who came to Zhangji­a­jie were older peo­ple. Only few were young­sters. With such a grand new show, many young peo­ple, and even small chil­dren, will have fun here.”

“I be­lieve 70 per­cent of vis­its to the cir­cus will be par­ents with kids,” Wang said.

Con­tact the writ­ers at suzhou@chi­

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