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Poor village in SW China makes a fortune through tourism

(People's Daily Online)    14:00, November 27, 2019

Wengding village, once an impoverished community located in southwest China’s Yunnan province, has made its fortune in recent years in cooperation with Shanghai, People’s Daily reported on Nov. 26.

Cangyuan Washan Airport (Photo/Xu Qian)

25-year-old Xiao Guanghua lives in the remote and rugged village of the Va ethnic group. Working at the Cangyuan Washan Airport, Xiao and his colleagues earn five to six thousand yuan a month as stevedores, an income level considered on par with China’s middle class.

The Washan airport was built in the Cangyuan Va Autonomous County, which is 40 kilometers away from Wengding village. It started operation in 2016 and boosted tourism in the ancient town almost immediately.

If travelers plan a journey from Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, to Wengding village, they can take a 50-minute flight to Cangyuan county for around 300 yuan, the same cost as the bus between the two places, which takes over 10 hours. When the plane touches town, tourists now only need to take a one hour bus to arrive in Wengding village.

Convenient transportation hastened the development of tourism in recent years, while tourism, in turn, transformed the village. In 2018, the village welcomed more than 456,000 people via 4,318 flights arranged by China Eastern Airlines. The village brought in more than 825 million yuan, and provided job opportunities for 12,500 locals.

Thanks to the growth in tourism, colorful clothes made by residents of the Va ethnic group in the Wengding village are more popular than before. Sewing and embroidery machines were introduced to improve productivity. Female weavers can now earn an extra 1,000 yuan during the low farming season.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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