China's richest village purchases helicopters to develop tourism

14:36, May 05, 2011      

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Huaxi Village, which is located in Jiangyin, east China's Jiangsu Province and is supposedly the richest village in China, spent 90 million yuan purchasing two helicopters in 2010 and launched a tourism program titled on "Aerial view of Huaxi" in 2011.

Huaxi Village, also known as the No.1 Village of China, was established in 1961, and the original coverage is 0.96 square kilometers, with a population of more than 1,500 people. The annual sales revenue is 30.78 billion. The villagers also establish pagoda groups, tunnels, Longxi Lake, a world garden, farmer gardens and so on. There are more than 80 attractions in total. Since 1978, travelers from more than 120 countries have visited this village, each year the number of travelers is more than 1 million.

Why did Huaxi Village spend 90 million yuan purchasing two helicopters? Wu Xieen, the secretary of Huaxi Village Communist Party Committee, explained that service industry has become an integral part of Huaxi Village's economy. Currently, the village receives more than two million tourists from home and abroad per year. Tourism has increasingly become a green industry for Huaxi.

He added, the "Aerial view of Huaxi" tourism program has been considered for several years. As early as the 35th anniversary, the 40th anniversary and the 45th anniversary of the founding of Huaxi Village, the village rented helicopters for villagers and realized their dream of viewing the Huaxi Village from.

"Huaxi Villiage has submitted application to Civil Aviation Administration of China for setting up our own airline company. Before we permission, our helicopters have to be entrusted to a company in Shanghai and we have to hire two external aviators," said Li Qing, the deputy secretary of Huaxi Village Communist Party Committee.

Although Huaxi Village is optimistic about the future of the helicopters, it faces a major difficulty because aviators are in short supply. Currently, China has no more than 2,000 licensed general-purpose pilots.

Li Qing said, Huaxi Village has realized this problem and cooperated with two domestic colleges to foster pilots. It is plans to train 100 pilots to be Huaxi Village's staff workers.

Huaxi Village aims to own five helicopters and an executive airplane during the 12th Five-Year Plan. Two existing helicopters will be put into use. It will carry tourists on an aerial tour ofHuaxi, Jiangyin, Wuxi and neighboring cities during China's National Day holiday this year, Li said.

By Ye Xin, People's Daily Online
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