Chinese officials banned two people from visiting the Great Wall of China after they trespassed onto an undeveloped section of the ancient structure.
The two men, both from Senegal, were reported by other visitors on April 30 for having ignored a “no crossing” sign and climbed onto a part of the wall beyond Watchtower 20, which is still being redeveloped, the operator of the wall’s Mutianyu section said.
The operator in the statement said much of the wall in this area is unstable and in need of repair. “From a safety point of view, the Wild Great Wall is steep and the bricks are loose, so if you are not careful, you will get lost or get injured,” the statement said.
“It is never suitable for climbing and walking.”
The operator called on visitors to respect and protect the ancient structure, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
After learning of the two men’s behaviour, it said, the operator “immediately took corresponding measures, using the ticketing system and monitoring system to locate the information of the two tourists and put them on the ‘blacklist,’ restricting their eligibility to purchase tickets.”
Chinese state media reported that it was the first time foreigners have been added to a tourism ban list.
The Great Wall is one of China’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing more than 10 million visitors a year prior to the pandemic. Even last year, more than 48,000 people visited per day during the country’s Golden Week holiday in October.