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Modernized Miao medicine to be key part of fresh approach

By Wang Hongyi and Yang Jun ( China Daily )

Updated: 2016-07-26

The Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture in Southwest China's Guizhou province has been actively exploring a new development path by combining its natural and tourism resources with its healthcare industry.

The Qiangdongnan prefecture is well known for its charming natural scenery and ethnic folk tourism resources. It is also the origin of the traditional medicine of the Miao ethnic community.

Last year, Guizhou province announced the establishment of the Dongxiang Health Industry Demonstration Zone to boost the development of a healthcare industry, with the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture as its core area. The zone integrates ecological tourism, ethnic medicine and modern healthcare.

 Modernized Miao medicine to be key part of fresh approach

Left: A herb planting base at the Guizhou Miao and Dong Herbal Medicine Development Co. Right: The company combines Miao traditional medicine with modern instruments. Photos Provided to China Daily

Li Feiyue, Party chief of the prefecture, said the building of a healthcare industry is an important development strategy for the prefecture.

Li said the prefecture administration will give full play to local resources and seize opportunities for industrial development in a range of areas, such as national cultural heritage and innovation, combining ecological tourism and the healthcare industry, the urbanization of mountain areas as well as innovation and entrepreneurship in ethnic areas.

According to the plan, the demonstration zone aims to attract 10 million visitors by 2020 and achieve total revenue of 20 billion yuan ($2.99 million).

Seeing bright prospects, a host of healthcare enterprises have been set up in the prefecture with the aim of combining healthcare and concepts of a healthy lifestyle with the local natural and ethnic tourism industries.

The Guizhou Miao and Dong Herbal Medicine Development Co Ltd was founded in 2013. Taking China's intangible cultural heritage - both Miao and Dong medicine - as its core, the company combines China's traditional lifestyle concepts with modern life science technology to create a unique development mode.

"Miao medicine has long been hidden in the mountains and its value is not widely known," said Gu Hongyong, who is in charge of marketing at the company. "We want to deliver the value and culture of Miao medicine to the world through the infusion of modern technology and management."

The company's businesses cover the whole industrial chain, such as the cultivation of Miao and Dong medicinal herbs, the domestication of herbs, technological research and development, processing and production, the application of holographic technology to Miao medicine, the establishment of a Miao medicine center, Miao medicine cultural tourism industry and health data management.

The company's China Miao Medicine Base is a comprehensive industrial area that integrates the planting of Miao and Dong natural herbs, domestication research, product development, preliminary testing, production, processing, warehousing and logistics. Covering about 204,000 square meters, the base can process more than 500,000 tons of raw herbal drugs a year and also works as a popular tourist site.

So far, the company has developed a series of Miao medicine-based products.

Besides that, the company has also started the development of 100 Miao medicine lifestyle centers across the country. At these centers, people can experience therapy that combines Miao medicine and modern instruments. It will also set up centers in big cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen, and has established partnerships with overseas countries, such as Malaysia.

The company said it plans to establish standards for the use of Miao medicine that will strengthen its reputation.

"It will help improve the ecological environment of Miaoling Mountain, and develop local tourism and culture," Gu said, adding that the company will build itself into one of the most influential healthcare and lifestyle companies in the country, which will help develop a sustainable path for the passing on of ethnic culture.

Other companies are also trying to create an innovative healthcare industry.

The agriculture and tourism company Yungu Tianyuan plants and grows agricultural products, but it has also introduced healthcare and lifestyles, restaurants, entertainment and agricultural tourism to its portfolio. Since opening in 2014, it has attracted more than 500,000 visitors.

The company has attached great importance to combining local tourism resources with the synchronized development of local villages.

The company said it will build itself into a large agricultural business that integrates fruit and vegetable production and processing, farming experience and village tourism. It aims to become a 4A tourist site.

In the first quarter of this year, the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture attracted more than 14.34 million visitors, an increase of 57.6 percent year-on-year. Total revenue reached 12.4 billion yuan, an increase of 62.6 percent year-on-year.

Contact the writers through wanghongyi@chinadaily.com.cn.

(China Daily 07/26/2016 page15)

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