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Shop run by disabled people fails to lure tourists

The Dexian Pavilion Sweet Home shop near the Yonghe Lamasery in Beijing, one of five run by disabled people in the city, has not been as popular as expected.

After opening three weeks ago, the shop, which sells everything from handbags to Peking Opera dolls, has managed sales of just 900 yuan ($130).

Pan Jidong, an official with the Dongcheng district disabled person`s association, which runs Sweet Homes and the shop, said he hoped it might be a tourist attraction for visitors to the Paralympics.

Cheng Kai, deputy head of the Paralympic Village, said at the opening of the shop that a shuttle bus service would run between the village and Sweet Homes shops across Beijing.

However, attracting customers has not been easy.

"We didn`t even sell one single Peking opera doll, which cost 100 yuan," Lu Huaping, a saleswoman at the shop, said.

In her eyes, the shop`s poor location is the reason why it is not doing well, but Sweet Home cannot afford to move to a better one.

"The location is not good, it`s about 15 minutes` walk from the Lama Temple," she said.

"Most of the tourists turn back half way."

Yang Xifeng, an official with Beijing Disabled Persons` Federation, said there are five such stores in Beijing, but the Dexian Pavilion shop is mainly an exhibition of handicrafts by disabled people.

The shop near the Houhai Lake has made money, because the area is popular with tourists, he said.

Date:2008-9-16 10:13:00     
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