The 20-year-old Zeng Min is a popular tourist guide in China's western province of Sichuan. The beautiful girl did not follow the course of many of her classmates who chose to farm or marry after graduating from high school.
She enjoys her job: introducing her hometown to hundreds of thousands of tourists.
Zeng is one example of the people of western China who have found jobs in tourism.
Representatives attending Sichuan International Tourism Festival said there are currently 700,000 people employed in tourism industry in Sichuan Province and 100,000 in Xinjiang, the latest statistics show.
Experts said when China vowed to develop western areas, tourismis a main channel to create job opportunities. In the past 15 years, tourism accounts for 38 percent of the new jobs created.
Tourism is a labor-intensive industry, with a low initial capital required. In the next 20 years, China will become a world famous tourism nation. All the western provinces will benefit fromthat, said Zhang Gu, deputy director of Sichuan provincial tourism administration.
Zeng said few people realized many of Sichuan's scenic mountains used to be lumber land for local people. Now tourism-oriented economy has replaced wood-oriented economy and her whole family benefits a lot from that.