BEIJING, March 17 (UPI) -- Chinese officials have ruled that all vendors who operate on the Great Wall will be forced to relocate elsewhere by the end of the year.
While souvenirs have been sold at the tourist site for more than 30 years, China's Xinhua news agency reported increased damage to the landmark led to the precaution.
In addition, the more than 30 vending stands and their customers are considered an unfair distraction to the popular Badaling section of the wall in Yanqing County, the report said.
Now the vendors who once operated on the Great Wall, along with the 61 stands set up around it, will be relocated to a nearby shopping mall.
A county official said the evacuated space will be turned into a public display celebrating the Great Wall's rich history.
Xinhua said the Great Wall, which traces its roots back to the Ming Dynasty, attracts more than 130 million tourists annually.