Bill Bensley is an internationally acclaimed architect making eco-tourism trendier in high-class resorts. He plans to let zoo animals walk freely in 85% of the WorldWild resort, while humans stay in the remaining 15%. 

The “human zoo” is in development in Guangdong Province, China. There are already designs for the Hilton, Waldorf-Astoria, and Dzong hotels to set up their individual “cages” in the zoo.

Termite mound “human zoo”  design for WorldWild’s African Savannah.

The idea of a human zoo is shocking to many, but the design group Bensley, led by Bill Bensley, has a different idea. Bensley’s idea is to make the animals happier by allowing them to live in lush natural environments. Enough with poaching, permanently destroying natural habitats and caging animals. Let them roam freely and let the humans watch them in their natural habits. Abused zoo animals and endangered species from all over the world can find a beautiful home in the subtropical climate of Southern China. The animals will claim 85% of the land while humans will get the remaining 15%.

Bensley is famous for cutting edge designs, and has even designed the Royal Istana Castle for the Sultan of Malaysia. Most of the current theme parks and resorts in Guangdong already have cool building designs. WorldWild will fit right in. The site for the resort is currently a wetland duck farm. The plan is to transform it into fancy adventure themed hotels in themed parts of the nature reserve.  WorldWild will also have four themed train rides throughout the reserve set with inner theaters and other activities. Other Bensley projects include ziplining over rivers into the hotel lobby and wild waterfalls, so expect plenty of that kind of adventure too.

The Chinese government and the client that originally hired Bensley approved his method. Bensley believes the resort’s visitors will be 99% Chinese. He wants to change millions of Chinese people’s opinions on wildlife and environmental protection. He hopes their opinions of 动物(dòngwù- animals- literally “moving objects”)will be more than just objects that can be owned or eaten. He believes the resort is a way to emotionally connect more people to animals’ plights. 

His other motivation is to change the idea of what hotels stand for. Though luxury brands are becoming more popular, Bensley says “Luxury is dead,” at least in the traditional sense. Bensley believes hotels should function as a community center, a learning center and an environmental role model, while still being a profit source. He hopes that his building standards will be a model for hotels to do things like become plastic free and start upcycling items for decoration. He will even build around trees, even if they grow through the middle of a building, rather than cut them down.

WorldWild is set to finish construction by 2023.

Would you visit this new eco-tourism center? Comment Below!

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Sadezia Ulcena
Black, American, Caribbean, Country, and City Girl. I'm a global citizen and I want to bridge an understanding of Chinese culture with my own.
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