Rural tourism turns Jiangsu villages' fortunes around

By Li Ping | | Updated: 2018-05-25 13:52
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A file photo of visitors touring a chrysanthemum garden in Shanlian village, Jiangsu province. [Photo provided to]

From an impoverished village in debt of more than 14 million yuan ($2 million) to a popular rural tourist destination in East China's Jiangsu province, the Shanlian village in Wuxi city has experienced substantial economic growth over the past decade, thanks to local government's poverty relief and economic development efforts.

With a population of around 6,300, the net income of Shanlian surpassed 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) in 2017; per capita income of villagers reached 32,000 yuan ($5,000), according to local authorities.

Since 2008, the local government has invested a total of 40 million yuan ($6,000) in building modern farms, which now span an area of more than 1,000 mu (66 hectares). They are used for mass production of fruits and flowers - especially chrysanthemums, said Yu Jiaye, vice-chairman of Shanlian's general Party branch, while accompanying a group of journalists around the seven-square-kilometer village on Wednesday.

Chrysanthemums planted in the village totaled 500 mu (33 hectares), making it a pillar industry of the place. The flowers are turned into a wide variety of products, including chrysanthemum tea, ornamental chrysanthemums and medicinal chrysanthemums.

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