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Dinosaurs to Join Terracotta Warriors in Shaanxi

2007-04-12

Northwestern China's Shaanxi province is gearing up to relive prehistory with a 220 million yuan (US$28.5 million) dinosaur theme park - and is hoping to attract a few tourists in the process. Officials from Shaanxi Yangling Agriculture High-tech Industrial Demonstration Zone and Beijing Jurassic Era Park Investment Management Company met in the provincial capital Xi'an this weekend to sign a contract to build Jurassic Era Park in Yangling, a city in this province. The park is to be completed next year. Beijing Jurassic Era Park Investment Management Company was acting on behalf of a Japanese enterprise that owns the rights to develop Jurassic Park theme parks in Asia. The parks are based on the American writer Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park, which was later turned into a popular film series by Steven Spielberg. Wang Yaomin, chairman of the board of the Beijing company, said Shaanxi was a key destination, attracting millions of tourists from both home and abroad to visit the world-famous terracotta warriors. However, the few attractions in the area give tourists little reason to stay for very long, he added. "Jurassic Era Park is a theme park featuring acoustic, optical and electronic technology allowing for the integration of science, technology and culture. Tourists can expect to learn a lot. Entering the park, visitors will enjoy leisure, recreation and entertainment, all while learning about popular science," Wang said. Wen Ming, director of Yangling Zone's foreign investment promotion bureau, had similarly high hopes for the park. "Visitors should stay for more than one day in Jurassic Park. The project here will promote tourism in Yangling, home of the world-famous Famen Temple. We hope the project will also stimulate local transportation, catering and urban construction and further speed up local economic development," Wen said. The Yangling Jurassic Era Park will be the third such park in Asia, said sources at Beijing Jurassic Era Park Investment Management Company. Yangling Agricultural High-tech Industrial Demonstration Zone, China's only such development zone for modern agriculture, is located some 180 kilometers west of Xi'an.

(Source:China Daily, 2007-04-12)