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Huaxi residents urged to spend locally


10:03, April 16, 2013

Residents of one of China's richest villages have been encouraged to spend at a loss-making local five-star hotel in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province.

Longxi International Hotel, which is located in Huaxi village, is noted for its luxury finishes, such as a sculpture of a bull in its lobby made of 1 metric ton of gold.

The hotel and cost 3 billion yuan ($485 million) to build - and that figure is taking its toll.

According to deputy general manager Dai Liming, the hotel can barely make ends meet even though it posted revenue of 150 million yuan in 2012 on the back of more than 2 million tourist visits to the village that year.

To solve the problem, the Huaxi government - which has a stake in the hotel - has given residents discount coupons that can only be used in the village, including its shopping centers and the hotel.

Many villagers choose to live in the hotel for as long as a month, according to Dai.

Wu Xie'en, chief of the village, said that Huaxi is going through an industrial upgrade and that any deficit in its traditional industries, such as tourism and hotels, should be accepted as a normal phenomenon.

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