Chinese resort planned for rural Wales
Developers are planning to create a luxury holiday resort in rural Wales designed specifically for Chinese tourists, with the aim of bringing 20,000 to the country each year, developers said Saturday.
Planning permission has been lodged for a 92-room hotel and 80 new holiday homes in Llanfynydd, near the Brecon Beacons National Park in southwest Wales, where they hope to lure Chinese tourists.
The 9.1-hectare (22.5 acre) site in a wooded valley is currently home to about 26 log cabins, but these will be replaced by modern luxury homes and a hotel with a swimming pool, spa, shop units and conference facilities.
"The majority will be for Chinese people," Elena Krashia, project manager for developers Maxhard, told AFP.
"Wales is a nice area, the landscape is very nice and the people are friendly. There are plenty of things to do in Wales, for example there are national parks closed to the site."
Although the local council is not due to review the plans for at least another month, the developers say they are ready to start building in April and intend to bring at least 20,000 Chinese clients every year to Wales.
According to the Visit Britain tourism body, Chinese people paid about 109,000 visits to Britain in 2010 and spent about £184 million (223 million euros, $284 million).
But barely five percent of them made it to Wales, preferring the bright lights of London.
Maxhard says the resort will boost the local economy and provide about 70 jobs, but some locals are opposed to such a major development.
Local councillor Meirwen Rees told the Daily Mail newspaper: "What advantage is it going to bring to Llanfynydd? Its not for local people, is it? It is for Chinese holidaymakers."
© 2012 AFP