China aims to transform Shapotou, a vast desert area in Zhongwei County in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, into an international tourism destination, China Daily reported Monday. Authorities plan to funnel at least 2 billion yuan (US$329.8 million) over the next five years to develop the northwestern desert, it said. The money will be spent on constructing tourist service centers, business districts, themed hotels and restaurants, under a preliminary agreement signed by the local government and the China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corp (HKCTS), the country’s largest travel group, the report said. As part of the project, the HKCTS will promote Shapotou via online advertisements, tourism agencies and performing arts.
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