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Forbidden City resorts to e-ticketing to cap visitors
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19:37, October 09, 2007

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An e-ticketing system is under development inside China's Forbidden City to cope with the large number of visitors.

"The initial e-ticketing plan has been formed," said Feng Nai'en, office director of the Forbidden City, also known in China as the Palace Museum.

Feng said the Museum had decided to make the switch because manual selling of tickets failed to monitor visitor numbers accurately.

"Once adopted, the museum will stop selling tickets if it reaches full capacity." According to Feng, the museum can hold a maximum of 50,000 visitors a day, Tuesday's Beijing Morning Post reported.

The number of tourists visiting the Forbidden City exceeded its maximum capacity for four days of the seven-day National Day holiday.

"The floor was worn down with the excess of visitors," said Feng, "and the vermeil walls have faded due to exposure to a great amount of carbon dioxide exhaled by visitors."

As to whether the museum will cap visiting periods like some other tourist sites, Feng said they were considering it.

Potala Palace, the former imperial palace in Tibet and one of the most popular travel sites in China, has started to cap visiting periods to one hour since this July and has already put a daily limit on tourist numbers at 2,300 since 2003.

Source: Xinhua

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