Runners compete in a marathon held in Qianxinan Bouyei and Miao autonomous prefecture. [Photo/zgqxn.com]
Qianxinan Bouyei and Miao autonomous prefecture has made great strides in the development of its tourism industry and in efforts to alleviate poverty over the past two years, following the International Conference of Mountain Tourism and Outdoor Sports.
The prefecture, home to 35 ethnic groups and mountainous scenery, showcased its surroundings to an international audience by playing host to the conference in 2015 and 2016. Athletes from different countries also displayed their sporting talents among the beautiful surroundings.
Tourism in the prefecture has maintained rapid growth. In 2015, more than 19 million tourists came to the area, bringing in revenues of 14 billion yuan ($2.01 billion). The number of visitors exceeded 11 million in the first half of 2016, an increase of 46.3 percent compared with the same period last year which saw a turnover of approximately 10 billion yuan.
To support the industry, the prefecture took steps to improve infrastructure and services. It invested 14.8 billion yuan in more than 90 tourism projects, including infrastructure transformation, transportation expansion and other related fields. For instance, a project providing free Wi-Fi is under construction which will allow visitors to access the internet at all the scenic spots.
More police were also allocated to increase security at tourist locations. Key responsibilities have been assigned to the prefecture’s Public Security Bureau and its various substations in the counties, as well as to police offices in 109 villages and scenic spots.
Mountain tourism has also brought benefits to local villagers. There are more than 800 rural inns around the prefecture, accommodating more than 25 percent of the total number of visitors.
To further improve the lives of villagers, the prefecture has released a strategy to set up 1,000 tourist sites to help alleviate poverty through rural tourism.