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Village looks to the sky to lure tourists

[ 2011-05-06 10:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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The richest village in China is looking to soar to new heights with an ambitious air tourism project.

Huaxi, a village in Jiangyin, East China's Jiangsu province, has spent 90 million yuan ($13.9 million) on two helicopters, and will add three more, as well as a commercial jet, during the next five years, said Li Qing, deputy Party chief of the village.

"The village wants to attract more tourists by offering a sightseeing experience from the sky," Li told China Daily on Thursday.

He added that the village welcomed 2.2 million visitors last year.

Each helicopter flight, at a height no higher than 300 meters, centered on the village and lasted about 15 minutes. The helicopter crew currently consists of 10 members, including pilots, air hosts and safety inspectors.

Huaxi was a sleepy village in 1957, with just 576 residents and assets of about 1,800 yuan. But it has amassed revenues of 229.6 billion yuan in the past five years.

The village, which covers a radius of 4 kilometers and has a population of 36,000, is hailed as one of China's greatest successes with all residents living in plush villas and enjoying free healthcare and education. Besides, each family in the village has two cars and at least $250,000 in the bank.

Sun Haiyan, another deputy Party chief of the village, told China Daily the village's revenue was 51.2 billion yuan last year, and every year up to 3.5 billion yuan can be used for the development of the village.

In 2008, Huaxi spent 2.5 billion yuan to build a 74-story skyscraper, and it recently announced a plan to establish a 118-story skyscraper with a height of 538 meters.


1. How much did the village spend on two helicopters?

2. What is the current population?

3. What was the population in 1957?


1. 90 million yuan

2. 36,000

3. 576


(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Village looks to the sky to lure tourists

About the broadcaster:

Village looks to the sky to lure tourists

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.