Hangzhou's famous West Lake is to ban clubs from providing catering services as part of China's austerity and anticorruption drive.
Besides a club owned by traditional food brand Tianwaitian, which must cater to mass consumers by lowering its prices, another 29 high-end clubs in the West Lake area must transform themselves and stop offering catering.
West Lake, in the west of Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province, is a popular tourist attraction due to its natural beauty and cultural value.
"The clubs occupy public resources but serve the privileged few rather than the general public. We must break down the price threshold, allowing more people to enjoy public resources," said Song Feng, a professor with Peking University's world heritage research center.
The center has been contracted by the West Lake authority to draft a new plan for the lake area.
According to the plan released Thursday, clubs will change the nature of their business based on their location and buildings. For example, Baoqinghuiguan is a site of historical significance and so should display cultural relics.
West Lake was the first nationally recognized tourist destination to work out a business promotion plan. "Our goal was to satisfy the general public and let them use our resources," said Liu Ying, head of West Lake scenic area management committee.
As the austerity campaign carries on, upscale clubs around the lake, often built illegally with public resources, sometimes in historical buildings, have aroused a certain amount of discontent. ,
In January, local authorities ordered high-end clubs in West Lake park to close. Similar action was taken in other Chinese cities including Beijing, Changsha and Nanjing