The home town of Mo Yan, the winner of this year's Nobel Prize for literature, may be the next big tourist destination in China.
Tourism officials within the Communist Party are hoping to capitalize on what is being dubbed "Mo-mania" by building attractions in Mo Yan's hometown of Gaomi, Shandong, reports Xinhua.
"Gaomi is no longer what it was," poet Li Danping told Xinhua. "It is now the holy land of the country, Mecca of Chinese literature."
At the center of the plan is a scheme to attract visitors by planting a large crop of red sorghum.
This grain is of particular significance to Mo Yan's career: “Red Sorghum," one of the author's best-known works, was the basis for an award winning film. He is said to have lamented the loss of the crop, which local farmers abandoned because of its low profit margin.
“The plan is high-risk as sorghum itself can hardly develop into a profitable industry,” Fan Wei, director of the local committee, told the paper. “But we expect the government to approve this plan as great investment can bring big development.”
According to the Financial Times, Fan Wei also told the author's father that he needed to refurbish the family home because "the house and the son were no longer his alone but belonged to Chinese society now."
Recently, Chinese officials also sought to drive domestic tourism in the country by opening an atomic bomb test facility.