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Coupons give farmers a chance to see China

SOUTHERN China's Guangdong Province has given travel coupons to farmers who want to see more of their country, and tours are scheduled to begin next Tuesday, the provincial tourism bureau said yesterday.

The coupons will provide discounts of at least 13 percent on airfares and hotels, said Zheng Nianjun, deputy general manager of the Nanhu Lake Travel Agency. The provincial government will pay the discounted amount.

Guangdong's tourism bureau said it prepared 200,000 coupons, but did not provide figures on how many were distributed or the total value.

With a coupon, a farmer could pay 899 yuan (US$131) for a six-day, all-inclusive tour of five cities in east China, saving nearly 200 yuan.

"Farmers will travel if the price is low and the itinerary is attractive," said Zheng.

Zheng said his agency chose Beijing and some eastern cities for the tours. The routes would be adjusted after getting traveler feedback.

The travel coupons are the first of their kind, although other cities have offered coupons for other purposes.

Chengdu in the southwest Sichuan Province and Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province last month gave low-income residents shopping and entertainment coupons.


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