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Can an exotic town built for interests be beautiful?

(People's Daily Online)

07:53, June 18, 2012

The Minmetals Hallstatt project, a mixture of a Chinese enterprise and an Austrian town included in the UN cultural heritage, recently emerged on a hillside on the outskirts of Boluo in Huizhou city, Guangdong province, according to Modern Express on June 8. All indications show that as it is expected to make money, the exotic town did not care about any criticisms.

The eyes of the global media were attracted by the Minmetals Hallstatt project, which cost 6 billion yuan and is known as "the first Austria-style tourist town in China." Most people had queried whether the project would infringe on the Hallstatt village of Austria, which had been included in the "Directory of World Cultural Heritage" by UNESCO.

Now, the concern seems nonexistent. Martin Wolle from the Consulate General of the Republic of Austria in Guangzhou, said on the cultural exchange ceremony hosted by Minmetals Land Ltd. that as an Austrian, "We are proud to see there is another Austrian style town on the other side of the world." Of course, they approved the project because it brought good economic profits. Only 47 Chinese tourists had been to Hallstatt in 2005 but the figure increased to 8,700 in 2011 when the controversy surfaced; an increase of more than 180 times. Wolle said, "It happened out of the blue, which brought us good economic profits. We would love to have this increase continue."

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