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Smattering of English aids village's tourism

By Dong Xianwu ( China Daily )

Updated: 2016-03-07

Residents of Gebong in southwestern China's Guizhou province are finding that learning some English words can improve their business as the mountainous village gains in popularity with overseas visitors.

"Several foreigners came to the village some days ago and each day they had some eggs and tomatoes at my stall," said Xiao Ling, making a point of speaking the two items she sold in English, sitting as she sat behind her stall at Getu River, a national-level tourist destination.

Xiao said proudly that many villagers come to her for help with English words that could help their business.

Wang Xiaobi is also a resident of Gebong and runs a hostel in the village.

"A lot of foreign visitors stay at my hostel during peak seasons," she said.

"A German rock-climbing company advertises my hostel free of charge. I receive at least hundreds of overseas visitors every year."

Gebong is one of many villages that shine with their respective charm in Guizhou.

A province where 92.5 percent of the land is hills and mountains, Guizhou is rich in waterfalls, valleys, lakes and hot springs and locals over centuries have developed customs, festivals, clothing and architecture rarely found in other parts of the country.

The absence of hordes of visitors does not mean poor infrastructure.

Qiu Zhenguo, chief planner at the Guizhou transport bureau, said the province's highway network covers all 18 national-level places of interest.

Guizhou is the first province in southwestern China to see all its counties have access to highways and the high-speed train for which China is famed has been available in the province for some time.

The provincial government made it a point to boost tourism-related facilities in its 2016 work report.

Zheng Xu, deputy head of the Guizhou tourism bureau, said, "In three years, airports, railway stations, bus stops and tourist destinations will be seamlessly connected and there will be more direct international flights and charter flights to and from Guizhou."

Li Sanqi, head of the Guizhou tourism bureau, said because of its hills and mountains, the province plans to learn from European resorts and focus on hiking, snow skiing, mountaineering and sightseeing.

Chen Min'er, Party chief of Guizhou, said the province will make all-out efforts to develop mountain tourism into Guizhou's growth engine and turn Guizhou into a world-class tourist destination with its mountain resources.

From 2011 to 2015, more than 1,600 villages have been engaged in tourism and 20 counties in the province have been listed as exemplary models in developing agricultural and rural leisure industries.

Statistics show that agricultural leisure generated 55 billion yuan and created 2.34 million jobs in 2014.


 Smattering of English aids village's tourism

Two visitors base jump from a bridge above Getu River in Guizhou's Ziyun county. The province is known for its untouched hills and natural environment.

Smattering of English aids village's tourism

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