"And offshore investors would certainly earn big profit if they invest to develop the rich tourism resources in the Guangdong's rural areas," said the official on condition of anonymity.

Guangdong provincial government has planned to take more efforts to develop the province's rural tourism industry to help boost the rural economy in the coming years.

In addition to local beautiful natural sceneries, priorities will be given to construction of ancient relics, Red Army revolutionary bases, green ecological scenic spots and other speciality tourism projects, he added.

Tourism departments at all levels would also spare no efforts to boost ecological, leisure, holiday and health tourism in the rural areas, he said.

During the past five years, the provincial government has spent more than 150 million yuan (US.95 million) to construct infrastructural facilities and scenic spots in the rural areas and counties.

And a total of 138 rural tourism projects have been constructed, benefiting 63 cities, counties and districts in the province's western, eastern and northern parts where economic development has lagged behind the prosperous Pearl River Delta (PRD) bordering Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

The official expected that more foreign investment would be attracted to develop the province's rural tourism projects in the years ahead.

The province's rural areas have been planned to be constructed into the backyard gardens of the PRD region. And the backyard gardens are expected to be able to annually attract a large number of tourists from home and abroad.

Besides foreign tourists, people from Hong Kong and Macao, a large number of residents from the PRD cities will be attracted to the province's rural areas to spend their holidays and weekends, the official said.