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Tourism puts poor village on path to prosperity
May 19,2017   By:China Daily

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May 19, 2017 -- Tourists relax in a meadow in Huaqiao village in Kangxian county, Gansu province.[Photo provided to China Daily]

May 19, 2017 -- Editor's note: In the run-up to the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress, China Daily sent six reporters to villages nationwide to live for a month and take a look at how people are working to ensure that China's poverty eradication plan succeeds.

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Like many other young people in Huaqiao, in Gansu province's Kangxian county, Mao Zhanghui used to live in one of the village's mud houses and migrate each year to cities such as Shanghai to work in low-paid positions, such as on construction sites, so that his family would not starve.

The land in the mountainous village could barely yield enough corn and wheat to support his wife, parents and 5-year-old son.

However, Mao found employment in Huaqiao and returned to his home village in 2014, when the Kangxian county government began to focus on developing tourism to alleviate poverty.

"The village was turned into a big construction site," he said. "The river was dredged and new roads were built."

With the 380,000 yuan ($55,160) he borrowed from a local bank and his friends, he built a three-story building, which houses a restaurant and was opened last year.

"We receive tourists every day, and during holidays the restaurants are always full," Mao said. "During the three-day May Day holiday this year, I made 20,000 yuan."