Joyous Village Life
This chapter first discusses the causal connection between tourism, economic growth, and poverty reduction, and briefly introduces the development of tourism in China. It then explores the volume, distribution, and structure of tourism in Yunnan and Guizhou. In Yunnan, the main focus of the tourism industry is on the rich cultural diversity of the province and it is centered in rural, predominantly minority regions. The distribution and structure of the tourism industry primarily promotes economic growth, with a more limited effect on rural poverty reduction. Although Yunnan has many potential tourist attractions in poor counties, the government focused its resources on developing tourist destinations in the non-poor counties. In Guizhou, many tourist activities and sites are distributed in modest villages in poor counties, and they are structured to be small in scale. As a result, poor rural residents benefit directly by hosting tourists, both foreign and domestic. Although the amount of money involved—and thus the profits—are usually quite modest, they can make a big difference in the income of poor people.
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