Holiday tourism contributes to China's rural revitalization

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 3, 2023
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At the foot of the slopes of Changbai Mountain in northeast China, rows of homestays present a unique scene. As one steps into the cozy courtyards of these homestays and lifts the steaming pot lids, the aroma of braised chicken with mushrooms, a northern Chinese delicacy, soon wafts through the air.

In the midst of this idyllic setting, 56-year-old Wang Juan finds herself very busy during the ongoing National Day holiday, diligently tidying up rooms and crafting local dishes for her guests.

In 2015, Wang, a resident of Jixing Village in Jilin Province, pioneered the transformation of her home into a homestay. Situated in close proximity to Jiguan Mountain, a national 4A scenic spot, the village draws a significant influx of tourists every year, all eager to experience the rustic charm of the countryside.

"I used to go out for work, but now I'm the boss and can work at my home," Wang said. Over the past eight years, Wang's homestay business has steadily grown, and leveraging her three tile-roofed houses and three pots, Wang has managed to rake in an annual income exceeding 60,000 yuan (about 8,225 U.S. dollars).

In recent years, a trend known as "micro tourism" has been on the rise in China, which is characterized by short-duration trips, frequent excursions, and destinations located in close proximity. Specifically, during the Labor Day and National Day holidays, more consumers are gravitating toward suburban homestays, and rural tourism is experiencing a notable surge in popularity.

According to statistics, during the second quarter of this year, 306 rural tourism destinations in China welcomed an average of 38,800 visitors, generating average village tourism income of 13.69 million yuan. The number of rural homestays on the list of the online travel agency Group has shown remarkable growth, surging from just over 70,000 in 2017 to nearly 300,000 in 2022, with a consistent annual increase.

Caressed by the gentle breeze, the golden rice fields of Guangdong Village sway gracefully, providing a backdrop that prompts tourists to capture the moment in photographs.

Jin Xian, Party secretary of the village, highlighted the recent efforts to promote ecological agriculture tourism in the area.

"We have constructed a sprawling 10,000 square meter paddy field sightseeing park and introduced a range of holiday activities infused with the culture of the Korean ethnic group, with approximately 150,000 tourists flocking to the village every year," Jin said.

Rural tourism has also served as a vital link, propelling the growth of local agriculture and the agricultural product processing industry.

Blessed with favorable natural conditions, Guangdong Village has made great strides in organic rice cultivation, establishing its own rice brand, which has gained recognition both domestically and internationally and found markets in China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and other regions.

Guangdong Village produced 2,000 tonnes of organic rice in 2022, translating to an output value of 23 million yuan. In the same year, the collective economic income of the village witnessed a nearly 15-fold increase compared to 2015.

"We've harnessed the power of the 'enterprises + village collective + villagers' model to unite all kinds of resources, securing improved prosperity for everyone involved," Jin said.

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