[photopress:Basecamp_dining_room_1.JPG,full,alignright]Qiangba Puncog, chairman of China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, told journalists in Beijing that China has not ruled out building a hotel at Mount Everest base camp, two days after work began on a paved road that will go half way up the world’s tallest mountain.
He said, ‘I cannot say that there will not be a hotel there in the future, but at the moment we have no plans for this.’ (The illustration gives you a rough idea what current facilities are like. Bring your own hotel.)
Puncog highlighted the difficulties of regular people staying overnight at base camp, which is 5,200 meters above sea level. He said, ‘Expert mountain climbers bring their own tents and equipment and won’t stay at a hotel.’ Which does not mean there are not possibilities.
Qiangba Puncog said, ‘In the past two years, a lot of tourists have gone to Everest base camp, even tourists coming from Europe and America like to go have a look at Everest.’ Indeed. And even tourists from Australia who climb up there on their seventieth birthday.
Puncog said, ‘They have said the road is not good and is not safe, so the goal of improving this road is to make it more convenient for tourists.’
Since a new railway was built from China’s lower regions to Lhasa last year, tourism to the Himalayan region has grown by 39%. Tibet received 2.51m visitors in 2006, with 154,000 coming from aboard.
Source: The Peninsular Qatar