Chinese set to pump $11bn into new Lake Baikal tourist complex

Lake Baikal tourist complex: A group of Chinese investors have clubbed together and commissioned a study into the commercial and technical feasibility of creating an $11bn leisure and tourist complex on the shores of Lake Baikal  in southern Siberia, close to Russian border with Mongolia, it was confirmed on Monday. The initial agreement was signed between the Grand Baikal tourist company and China’s Zhongjingxin hotel operator with both parties pledging to create a centre equippid with state-of-the-art  tourist facilities, new transport links and an ‘extensive logistics infrastructure, designed to ensure a large-scale tourist flow into the region’.
The site of the former Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant –  long regarded as both as a vital industrial enterprise but also as a source of pollution for the lake and  which was closed down in 2013 – will be the centre of the new tourism development. Grand Baikal already runs the Sobolinaya Gora ski resort in the town of  Bikalsk which attracts some 150,000 tourists each year.
At 1,623 metres, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world, holds its largest volume of fresh water and, at somewhere between  20 and 25 million years of age, is also the oldest. Home to a wide range of unique flora and fauna any plans to develop a new tourist complex on its shores are bound to meet stiff opposition from environmentalisats, who in recent years have become increasingly alarmed by the damaging of effect that tons of liquid waste emanating from tourist camps and water transport vehicles is already having on the UNESCO-protected lake.