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$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism hub

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 October 2016

Can the world's oldest and deepest lake finally realise its potential as a world class venue?

The Russian and Chinese partners promise 'modern tourist facilities', new transport links and 'extensive logistics infrastructure, designed to ensure a large-scale tourist flow into the region'. Picture: Sobolinaya ski-ing resort

Grand Baikal, the largest tourist operator in Irkutsk region, and China's Zhongjingxin company have signed a cooperation memorandum envisaging the creation of a new tourist cluster on Lake Baikal.

The site of the former Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant in Baikalsk - long seen as a vital industrial enterprise but also a source of pollution to the unique lake - will be the centre of the new tourism development. It was closed in 2013. 

The Russian and Chinese partners promise 'modern tourist facilities', new transport links and 'extensive logistics infrastructure, designed to ensure a large-scale tourist flow into the region'.

They vow adherence to strict environmental safeguards in an area seen as one of the planet's most unique areas, containing around 20% of the world's unfrozen freshwater. 

$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism potential


$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism potential


$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism potential


$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism potential
The site of the former Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant in Baikalsk (pictured) will be the centre of the new tourism development. Pictures: The Siberian Times


'A pool of Chinese investors has been formed,' revealed a statement on Monday. 'The Zhongjingxin company represent the pool at the first stage, which is to draft a technical feasibility study and legally binding agreements. 

'The Grand Baikal tourist company represents Russian participants at this stage.'

Grand Baikal own the Sobolinaya Gora ski resort in the town of Baikalsk, on the shore of Lake Baikal and some 150 kilometres from Irkutsk. 

The ski resort services up to 150,000 tourists a year.

$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism potential


$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism potential


$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism potential
The Grand Baikal own the Sobolinaya Gora ski resort in the town of Baikalsk. Pictures: Sobolinaya ski-ing resort


A feasibility study is underway before the final agreement. 

The lake is long seen as offering huge tourism potential, attracting visitors from Russia and many foreign countries including China and Western nations. 

Unitl now it has lacked major investors ready to develop the tourism infrastructure to the highest global potential. 

Grand Baikal, the largest tourist operator in Irkutsk region, and China's Zhongjingxin company signing a cooperation memorandum in Beijing. Picture: Grand Baikal 

$11 billion Chinese scheme to develop Lake Baikal's tourism potential

Comments (8)

Developers, the scourge of the world, are an unstopable force in this new full market world and there is nothing we can do about it! They will buy and sell every beautiful place on earth and build and build till there is no place really beautiful or sacred left for us. Private property and public waste are all that is left for the rest of us. All I can say is don't sell untill it's enough that you can buy your own island somewhere!
Michael Jones, Austin TX/ USA
09/11/2016 11:42
4
2
I really hope that Russian Government will NEVER approve such a thing. It will simply distroy the beauty of the lake. It should simply be preserved, not distroyed. It's the biggest lake on Earth, the most pure and the only one that has the ability to clean itself. DO NOT DESTROY IT!!!!!!!!
Barbossa, Romania
02/11/2016 15:10
22
0
But this time the Mexican men, such as Juan dela Cruz, see the potential that having sex with American men and and transgenders
ED, Russia
26/10/2016 17:00
4
2
Chinese see potential for Chinese men to have sex vacation with Russian women
Juan dela Cruz, Wash DC USA
26/10/2016 06:43
9
7
The area reserved now for tourism will need waste treament facilities to clean what the tourists leave, as we know in Spain.



On the other side, Siberia needs new Paper and Pulp plants, better if using oxygen instead of chlorine, and placed next to the open Pacific Ocean...but not to close to Vladivostok as it smells bad. We have one such factories here in my town of Pontevedra (Spain)
Enrique, Spain
26/10/2016 00:54
6
0
Although, I agree it is a great idea to re-purpose and remediate the Pulp & Paper plant area, please be very careful to hold all involved accountable to their statement.........."They vow adherence to strict environmental safeguards in an area seen as one of the planet's most unique areas, containing around 20% of the world's unfrozen freshwater." I certainly agree with everyone who wants to protect and carefully visit Lake Baikal as an eco-tourist.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
25/10/2016 21:35
6
0
Great news! I would love to go there some day - soon! It is great for the local community as well because there will be new job opportunities. Good for the Russian and Chinese state.
I will certainly visit the beautiful place!
William McLean, Denmark
25/10/2016 19:58
6
0
Baikal is very beautiful both in summer and winter, I hope the investors can take into consideration and develop something that is sustainable for the environment as some part of the lake has suffered a lot from waste water going uncleaned directly to water.

Hope I can visit this place some day!
Vaclav H., Slovakia
25/10/2016 18:49
10
0
1

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