China launches the new Titanic
China is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination. With more and more international visitors expected over the next decade the pressure is on to build attractions that will inspire return visits.
One of said projects will be the introduction of the New Titanic, a 1bn yuan (£116m) re-imagination of the famous transatlantic liner. The 269-metre replica will be constructed in Daying, about 115km east of Sichuan’s capital Chengdu. This location will come as a surprise to most as it is over 1,200km from the sea.
The ship won’t be capable of floating, but this shouldn’t matter as the project is intended be the centrepiece of a high-end tourist resort. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the luxury the ship offered the lucky (or should I say unlucky) wealth few travellers of the period.
The first spade hit the ground on the anniversary of the ships famous collision in what was claimed as a “solemn ceremony” to officially kick off construction. The project has faced criticism, with some media outlets lamenting a faceless corporation seeking to profit from the 1912 catastrophe. Qixing Energy Investment, the company behind the build feel it is a fitting tribute to the fallen ship.
Their case doesn’t sound too convincing, with some local villagers in Daying fearing they may be evicted from their homes to make way for the replica ship. Compensation, which often outlines the major class divides in China, is likely to be insufficient for local families, with some having to start afresh in a new part of the region. This seems to be a recurring theme in a country developing at such a stochastic rate.