Rural tourism thrives in China

(People's Daily Online) 14:51, December 29, 2022

Rural tourism has enjoyed rapid development in China in recent years, making a significant contribution to the rural vitalization drive while showcasing the country’s development.

Autumn view of Dazhai village in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Photo/Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China)

Dazhai village in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Jingzhu village in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality were named “Best Tourism Villages 2022” by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) not long ago, thanks to their achievements in balancing tourism with industrial development while adhering to environmental protection. So far, four villages in China have won the accolade.

With its previous heavy reliance on mining, Yucun village of Tianhuangping township in Anji county, east China's Zhejiang Province, has now shifted to green development. With the improvement in its environment, the village has blazed a trail in the tourism industry, increasing its collective income nearly tenfold compared to 2005.

Since July 2022, the village has joined hands with its four neighboring villages, coordinated resources including 100,000 square meters of entrepreneurial space, over 20,000 square meters of plants, and nearly 60,000 mu (4,000 hectares) of bamboo forests and farmland, and established a 100-million-yuan ($14.35 million) fund for industries, research and innovation and other businesses, according to Wang Yucheng, Party secretary of the village.

China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, together with the National Development and Reform Commission, has announced that another 200 villages and 98 key towns have been slated to develop rural tourism in recent days, bringing the total number to 1,399 and 198 respectively. Beiji town in Mohe, China's northernmost city in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, which was one of the listed villages, boasts abundant ice and snow resources, and has built ice-snow theme parks and developed other projects to boost local tourism.

Photo shows a homestay in Shihan village in Qiongzhong Li and Miao Autonomous County of south China's Hainan Province. (People's Daily Online/Fu Wuping)

Many villages have placed great importance on their unique rural culture while developing tourism. One striking example is Shihan village in Qiongzhong Li and Miao Autonomous County of south China's Hainan Province, which has developed rural tourism by making full use of its local Li and Miao cultures.

Today, 436 villagers work in the tourism industry, accounting for 83 percent of the village’s total population. Some of them teach the traditional crossbow to visitors and explain to them how to make it, while others put on song and dance shows or perform wedding customs. Tourists can also dress up in local costumes and take photos in the village’s cultural square.

Jiangmen city in south China's Guangdong Province has also taken steps to boost rural tourism. Known as the “Capital of Overseas Chinese", the city has leveraged its hot springs and various cultural heritages, such as the Kaiping Diaolou, which are multi-storeyed defensive village houses in Kaiping that feature a complex and flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western structural and decorative forms. Currently, the city is developing a tourism project featuring local culture based on Chikan town, which was once a migration center. The project was listed as one of the exemplars of rural vitalization powered by culture in the province in 2022. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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