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Tourists may be remedy for Guandong`s poor areas

More than 200,000 jobs may be created in poor areas of South China`s Guangdong Province with plans by authorities to help…

More than 200,000 jobs may be created in poor areas of South China`s Guangdong Province with plans by authorities to help the areas shake off poverty by issuing policies favorable to tourism.

Guangdong, which began trying tourism to fight poverty last year, will launch as many as 35 such programmes this year.

Poor areas, concentrated in northern and western mountainous regions, are regarded as having abundant tourism resources, though neglected for a long time.

Dongyuan County, northeast of Heyuan city, for example, has never been thought of as a tourist mecca. Today, thanks to the construction and design of a Hakka style village, called Sujiawei, it is drawing visitors.

With a capital injection of 1 million yuan (US$120,000) from Guangsheng, a State-owned company, Dongyuan County had an opportunity to exploit its Hakka scenic spot in 2002.

Per-capita income in the county increased 800 yuan (US$96) that year when Sujiawei opened to the public.

Investment from enterprises, local and overseas, is welcome to develop tourism, said Zhen Xiaofeng, an official with the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Administration.

The local tourism attraction is supposed as a main channel for the inflow of foreign investment.

Overseas investment amounted to 12 billion yuan (US$1.45 billion) to explore tourism resources in the mountainous regions in the past two years, said Huang Huahua, governor of the province.

Another 30 million yuan (US$3.6 million) targeted by the provincial fiscal budget is set to be allocated to the field each year.

Some 10,000 working posts have been created in the past two years in 14 tourism projects.

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