Village in Nanjing, east China embraces prosperity through development of homestay tourism industry

(People's Daily Online) 16:00, September 18, 2021
Village in Nanjing, east China embraces prosperity through development of homestay tourism industry
Photo shows a homestay cooperative in Lijiaying village in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu province. (People’s Daily Online/Wang Xinnian)

A village in Nanjing, capital city of east China’s Jiangsu province has taken advantage of its natural resources to develop rural tourism and increase villagers’ income.

Lijiaying village, located at the foot of Laoshan Mountain in Nanjing, was once plagued by environmental destruction as dirty pigsties were the childhood memories for many. Because most young people opted to leave their hometown to work elsewhere, the village was mostly inhabited by children and seniors back then.

In 2014, the village embraced a major development opportunity when a mountain cycling event was about to be held in the locality. To prepare for the event, the muddy road leading to the village was replaced by a hardened roadway. In 2016, a tourism resort was then opened near the village, making local residents come to realize that they might be able to do something to seize upon the valuable opportunity.

“We then decided to help the villagers develop tourism,” said Li Gang, deputy head of the Party branch of Danian neighborhood, which administers Lijiaying village. To be specific, they were going to turn the vacant rural houses into homestay houses because this would not only help to boost farmers’ incomes, but also improve local tourism infrastructure.

In March 2021, Lijiaying released a series of policies to support villagers to build, open and run their own homestay businesses, providing assistance in the design of the houses, and the formulation of service standards, as well as attracting guests for the homestay businesses. Zhu Yetong, a university graduate from the village, said she had planned to open a bubble milk tea shop, but later she thought running a homestay business in her village was a better idea.

On May 1 this year, the first six homestay houses in Lijiaying were opened for business. Zhu’s homestay house was one of them. The three rooms of hers were booked up before the arrival of the May Day Festival. “Each of my rooms costs 380 yuan ($59). With three rooms, I could earn more than 1,000 yuan a day,” said Zhu. During the slack tourism season, Zhu will do a part-time job at the restaurant or at the tourist service center in the village, earning more than 3,000 yuan a month from these jobs.


(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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