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Tourism meeting to focus on rural areas

By Zhao Shijun | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-13 07:39

Guizhou province continues with efforts to alleviate poverty in remote communities. Zhao Shijun reports.

Rural tourism and poverty alleviation will be the highlights of the 13th Tourism Industry Development Meeting of Guizhou, to be held in Congjiang county in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture on Monday, said the province's officials.

Wang Wenxue, deputy chief of the Guizhou Tourism Development Commission, told a news conference on Tuesday that the theme of the forthcoming meeting is "developing rural tourism to boost poverty alleviation".

Guizhou is a province with a number of areas where poverty relief is still a pressing task.

Mountains and hills account for a large proportion of Guizhou's landscape, which have hindered the development of agriculture and other industries.

However, Wang said the mountainous landscapes and rich ethnic culture have proven to be a big draw for tourists in recent years.

"Tourism is one of the important measures for targeted poverty alleviation," said Wang, adding that he hoped the industry can involve the participation of more of the impoverished population, helping them to get rich.

Wang said one of the goals of the meeting is to attract investment from the rest of the country and the world to fuel tourism development in Congjiang county, Qiandongnan prefecture and Guizhou province as a whole.

According to the official, 21 tourism projects for the purpose of poverty alleviation will be signed during the event, with investment totaling 68 billion yuan ($10.2 billion).

The projects cover such areas as the development of tourist destinations and construction of roads, catering and shopping facilities.

Construction and renovation of tourist destinations will be the focal point of these investment projects, including Jianhe Hot Spring Town, Danzhai Wanda Town, Xijiang Miao village, Langde Miao village and Luanli Dong village.

Promotion of local attractions will be another important part of the meeting, according to Wang, who said that representatives of travel agencies and the media will visit local destinations such as Xiasi ancient town in Kaili city, Basha Miao village in Congjiang county and Zhaoxing Dong village in Liping county.

Xiao Minglong, deputy chief of the government of Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, spoke highly of the meeting's role in promoting local attractions.

He said the third Tourism Industry Development Meeting of Guizhou, which was held in Qiandongnan in 2008, successfully presented the Xijiang Miao village to the industry.

The village in the northeast of Leishan county, Qiandongnan prefecture, is referred to as a living museum of the Miao ethnic culture and is listed as one of the top 300 renowned villages in China.

Xiao said the 2008 meeting also marked a beginning for a new era of tourism development in the prefecture, featuring rapid growth, improving infrastructure and services, and involvement of more people and industries.

According to local statistics, Qiandongnan has received 224 million tourists since 2016, generating 191.1 billion yuan in revenue and maintaining an average annual growth of more than 30 percent.

Xiao said rural tourism, which is now a dominant sector in the prefecture's tourism industry, has played an important role in rural development and poverty alleviation.

Since 2017, rural tourism in Qiandongnan has created 21,800 new jobs for local residents, according to Xiao, who added that a total of 95,500 rural residents have increased their incomes through working for or operating tourism and related businesses.

The prefecture-level official said standardization of services, protection of ethnic cultures and use of the latest information technologies will be crucial for ensuring sustainable tourism growth in Qiandongnan.

"Guizhou's tourism authority has recently issued three regulations to standardize the industry," Xiao said, noting "We will use these regulations to improve tourism services and facilities".

He also said that a number of smart tourism platforms will be established to make tours in Qiandongnan more convenient.

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Tourism meeting to focus on rural areas

Terraced paddies and old-style farmhouses in Jiabang, Congjiang county, provide a playful paradise for photograhers and tourists alike. Wu Dejun / For China Daily 

 Tourism meeting to focus on rural areas

Clockwise from top right: Dancers perform during a lotus festival in Congjiang. Miao ethnic people play the lusheng, a pipe instrument made of bamboo, in Nancen village in Congjiang. Shui ethnic people in Gaoliang village, Congjiang, make sticky rice cakes using traditional techniques. A villager dries peppers in Miaopeng village, Congjiang. Basha village is known as the home of the “last hunters’ tribe” in China. Wu Dejun / For China Daily

(China Daily 07/13/2018 page19)

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