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Cool temperatures heat up plateau travel

(Xinhua)    10:35, September 01, 2020

GUIYANG, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- When scorching heatwaves hit most parts of China in August, Guizhou Province on southwest China's Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, with its average summer temperature of 23 degrees Celsius, gained steam in the tourism sector.

Situated at a maximum altitude of 2,777 meters, Jiucaiping scenic area in the city of Bijie saw its wild Chinese leek flowers flourishing this month, attracting an increasing number of tourists from warmer places like Chongqing and Guangdong.

"Since August, my home has always been occupied," said Xu Guiqin, a local villager who runs a homestay some 10 minutes' drive from the scenic area.

Xu said her business has largely rebounded after being affected by the COVID-19 epidemic earlier this year.

To attract more tourists, the provincial government has rolled out a series of policies, including slashing the entrance fees of major scenic spots by half and offering consumption vouchers worth 10 million yuan (about 1.46 million U.S. dollars) designated in the cultural and tourism sectors.

The vouchers can be used by consumers in specific venues and the corresponding value of money will be automatically deducted.

Guizhou once lagged behind other provinces, but in recent years it has been a popular destination for summer travel due to its mild temperatures and beautiful natural scenery. In July, 77.55 million tourists generated total revenue of 58.39 billion yuan within the province, up about 43 percent and 38 percent, respectively, month on month.

According to a report by online travel giant Group, in mid-August, after trans-provincial travel in China resumed in mid-July following a months-long suspension due to the epidemic, Guizhou ranked in fifth place among the most popular provincial tourist destinations.

The city of Anshun, with an annual average temperature of 14.2 degrees Celsius, boasts many tourist attractions, such as the Huangguoshu Waterfall, the largest waterfall in China.

"It only takes 30 minutes to drive here from the Huangguoshu resort. Our village has seen more tourists in recent years," said Wei Jun, Party chief of a local village called Leikua, adding that the village is trying to build a scenic area specialized in local ancient rattan-armor and the Bouyei ethnic cultures.

At present, the village has three rural-style restaurants, homestays with over 200 beds and more than 10 grocery stores. The per-capita disposable income of villagers almost doubled to 8,800 yuan last year from the level in 2014.

Wei Xingxiu, a former impoverished Bouyei villager, is now one of the "bosses" busy with running a restaurant at home. With her business, which opened in May, Wei, 57, has made a net income of over 10,000 yuan, much more than in the past, when she earned only 80 yuan per day by doing odd jobs.

With tourists bringing in revenue, the living environment of the village has also changed. "The road was muddy in the past, but now it's all covered with cement," she said.

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

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