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Guizhou scenic river area helps locals escape poverty

By Morag Hobbs (People's Daily Online)    09:57, July 28, 2018

The Zangke River in Guizhou province has been upgraded by the Liupanshui municipal government to help locals gain employment in the tourism industry.

The scenic river area covers 259 square kilometers, and boasts incredible canyons, mountainous scenery and green-blue water. However, the beautiful surroundings have not always equated the local people with a good life. Villagers whose livelihood relied on traditional agriculture often lived beyond their means because they couldn’t make enough money from the land, so many people chose to move away for work, leaving their farmland abandoned. Many villages are today empty, a crumbling reminder of the area’s previous poverty.

In order to fully tap local tourism resources and promote the upgrading and transformation of the tourism industry, in 2016 the Liupanshui municipal government invested 2.6 billion yuan to build the scenic area of the Zangke River. With the improvement of infrastructure and the landing of 18 projects along the river, it has not only attracted a large number of tourists but also promoted the integration of first, second and third tier industries, allowing locals more opportunities no matter what their skills.

“I used to work in the town in a clothing business and was barely able to support my family. Now I have a farmhouse and my income has increased tenfold,” said Qiu Xiaoying, a resident who now transports passengers along the river. Looking at the prospect of the tourism industry in the area, Qiu Xiaoying and her husband bought two speedboats with their life savings to transport people around the area. Villagers like Qiu Xiaoying, who have created their own tourism business, are now everywhere in the Zangke area.

Not only are people directly involved in the tourism industry making a better life for themselves, but local fruit farmers are now able to sell higher quantities locally, truly integrating the whole community. 

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(Web editor: Bianji, Wu Chengliang)

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