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Golf tourism to be highlighted in S. China province

Promotion of its under-used golf courses will be the highlight of next year`s tourism development in south China`s Guangdong Province, said a local tourism official. …

Promotion of its under-used golf courses will be the highlight of next year`s tourism development in south China`s Guangdong Province, said a local tourism official.

Zheng Tongyang, head of the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Administration, said he hoped to attract more overseas tourists to Guangdong, already a booming tourist destination and fast-growth economic powerhouse.

Of China`s 195 golf grounds, with a membership of over 400,000, more than 70 are located in Guangdong, but less than 60 percent of Guangdong`s golf courses are used, according to Zheng.

For an overseas tourist to play golf and visit local sites of historical and cultural interest in Guangdong, it is estimated to cost, including accommodation, travel and food, around 10,000 yuan (about 1,200 US dollars).

Guangdong province, which has been assigned to pilot China`s reform and opening-up drive, has become an important export base. It is also one of China`s most popular places for entry into and exit out of the country.

The province raked in 126.1 billion yuan (about 15.2 billion USdollars) from tourism last year, or one quarter of the national total. It hosted 72.56 million overseas tourists, making up 81 percent of the national total, and earned 4.48 billion US dollars from related services, which made up one quarter of the national total.

Guangdong`s tourism boom has continued. In the first half of the year, the industry earned 64.6 billion yuan (7.78 billion US dollars), up 5.21 percent from the same period last year. During that time, the province also hosted 39.34 million tourists from overseas, up 8.44 percent and earned 2.37 billion US dollars from related services.

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