China is building the world's first full-size replica of the doomed Titanic in a landlocked county more than 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) from the sea, where it is expected to enjoy smoother sailing as a lakeside tourist draw, state media reported on Thursday .
Xinhua cited a senior executive of the shipbuilder as saying that the 269-metre (883-foot) long, 28-metre wide ship will be docked permanently on a reservoir in the Qijiang River in Sichuan province.
Wang Weiling, the deputy general manager of Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group, said the replica will feature an interior reproducing some of the grandeur of the original ship including a ballroom, theatre, swimming pool and first-class cabins. Wifi will be an additional feature of it.
The new ship will be the centre piece of a theme park located at a distance of hundreds of kilometres (miles) away from China's coast. The project is bankrolled by Seven Star Energy Investment Group, a Chinese energy company.
In 1912, the supposedly unsinkable ocean liner struck an iceberg and sank in the north Atlantic Ocean. More than 1,500 people died in the accident. Since then it has always been a subject of immense fascination for many in China.
But the interest became even more intense when James Cameron made the film titled "Titanic" starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in 1997. The director had built a 90 percent scale replica vessel for the shoot.
In 2014, the company first announced the plans for this one billion yuan (S$ 214.12 million) project. Xinhua said the design of the ship is based on the original one. Several US and British designers and technicians will assist in the construction of this ship.
In 2013, flamboyant Australian tycoon Clive Palmer unveiled his plans of building a replica of the original Titanic that could actually take to sea. But unfortunately the project has apparently stopped due to funding problems.
In recent times, domestic tourism is booming in China as the government is constantly promoting it to boost consumer-driven growth rather than its decades-old model of investment and industry.
More than 300 theme park projects have been reportedly funded in China in recent years. The rate of building theme parks in the country is way faster than any other place in the world.