B&B managers inject vitality into rural China

(People's Daily Online) 13:19, July 26, 2023

B&B managers are contributing to rural revitalization in China and injecting new vitality into rural areas by providing customized services in accommodation, catering, local natural environment, culture and lifestyle to tourists.

In just a few years, the number of B&B managers in China has surpassed 1 million.

A manager of a B&B hotel arranges tea sets in Ershilipu village, Luozhuangzi township, Jizhou district of north China's Tianjin Municipality. (Xinhua/Zhao Zishuo)

Lin Bo is the manager of a B&B hotel in Shitang township, Wenling city, east China's Zhejiang Province.

According to a customer surnamed Zhang, Lin invited her and her friends to drink tea one day before checking in and introduced the local customs and travel routes to them.

"Lin told us many details we weren’t aware of when we made our travel plans. Thanks to him, we have nothing to worry about," Zhang said.

"B&B managers have direct contact with customers. They serve as bridges between B&B hotels and customers, and as carriers of B&B hotels' design concepts. They determine the quality of B&B hotels," said Miao Weixiang, an instructor at a training center for B&B managers in Moganshan township, Deqing county in Zhejiang province.

Moganshan township currently has 883 B&B hotels, and about 5,000 people are currently working in the B&B industry.

In 2022, B&B hotels in Deqing county received 7.45 million customers, with revenue reaching 2.97 billion yuan (about $410.6 million).

Zhejiang currently has 22,000 certified B&B hotels, which employ 150,000 people and generate an annual revenue of more than 10 billion yuan.

Last year, 2,574 people from eight cities including Hangzhou and Ningbo in Zhejiang took tests to become B&B managers, and 2,331 people obtained certificates, according to an official with the Zhejiang provincial department of human resources and social security.

China's Ministry of Education approved a major related to B&B management and operation in 2021. To date, about 30 vocational colleges offer the major.

"Graduates in the major will become important sources of B&B managers," said Zhang Yi, a professor at the Tourism College of Zhejiang.

The thriving B&B industry has boosted the development of rural tourism and helped villagers fatten their wallets.

In Xiantan village, Moganshan township, dried bamboo shoots, a local specialty, offered by a B&B hotel are a favorite with customers. Xu Langyue, a B&B manager of the hotel, said many of the dried bamboo shoots were provided by local farmers and some customers bought the local specialty. Xu added that B&B managers play a vital role in promoting agricultural products.

To attract and retain B&B managers, Deqing county offers rewards and subsidies to those who attend local training sessions and pass the assessment, gives allowances to those who obtain skill level certificates, and provides settling-in allowances and employment subsidies for highly skilled B&B managers, said Fei Jiamin, an official with the county's bureau of human resources and social security.

"The new profession of being a B&B manager can attract more young people to return or move to the countryside to contribute to rural revitalization," said Zhang.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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