320 villages listed as China's key rural tourism spots

China will support the development of homestay accomodation in the countryside and will regard it as an important factor in the transformation and upgrading of the country’s rural tourism, according to a rural tourism (homestay) works conference held Sunday in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Xinhua reported. 

A list of key rural tourism spots across China was released at the conference, with 320 villages jointly selected by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the National Development and Reform Commission. 

Luo Shugang, minister of culture and tourism stressed at the conference that the standardized development of homestays in the countryside should be taken as an important starting point for the transformation and upgrade of rural tourism.

View of Tongbantun Village in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. /VCG Photo

View of Tongbantun Village in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. /VCG Photo

Countryside homestays should adhere to the village's own characteristics and should not become a clone of the city hotel or a refurbishment of agritainment, Luo said. 

It should also meet the needs of mass consumption instead of luxury consumption, which deviates from its original purpose. 

The development of countryside homestays should combine with poverty alleviation work, the minister stressed, adding that farmers and financially-struck households should be encouraged and guided to provide such services as a way of rising up from poverty. 

Rural tourism should follow the path of green development and put rural protection as the primary concern. Large-scale demolition of rural buildings should be banned as such a move will undermine the original style of the rural architecture.

Wuli Village in southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CGTN Photo

Wuli Village in southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CGTN Photo

According to a plan announced at the conference, special financial support will be provided to key rural tourism villages, with a 100 billion yuan (14.5 billion U.S. dollars) credit limit by the Agricultural Bank of China for those villages in the next five years. 

Luo also encouraged social capital to involve in the construction of rural homestays. 

Data of national rural tourism development released at the conference shows a total of 1.51 million rural tourism visits in the first half of 2019, up 10.2 percent year-on-year, with a revenue of 860 billion yuan, an 11.7 percent increase over the same period last year. 

In addition, the total number of people employed in rural tourism in China reached 8.86 million by the end of June, an increase of 7.6 percent year-on-year.

(Cover: Kaiping Diaolou and villages, Jiangmen City, south China's Guangdong Province. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): China Daily