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Rural village tourism is an effective way to boost these mountainous areas with cultural activities

Aerial photo taken on Aug. 1, 2022 show the Qingxi Village in China’s Hunan Province.

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The Qingxi Village in Yiyang, Hunan Province, central China, as seen from above on August 1st, 2022. According to Xinhua/Chen Sihan.

SUNDAY, August 22 (Xinhua) — In CHANGSHA. Visitors to Qingxi Village are often taken aback by the picturesque scene that greets them: vast fields of grain, blooming lotus flowers, and neat houses with gray roofs and white walls scattered among lush trees.

His birthplace, Qingxi Village, can be found in Yiyang, Hunan Province, central China. Zhou Libo was a well-known Chinese author who passed away in his youth. Zhou set a number of his works in Qingxi Village, helping to cement the village’s reputation as the “hometown of literature.”

Villagers have reaped real benefits from tourism. According to He Zhi’ang, the Party chief of Qingxi Village, the annual per capita income of Qingxi villagers increased from around 4,600 yuan (roughly 678 U.S. dollars) before 2005 to 8,800 yuan in 2010.

Qingxi’s quality improvement project on its scenic spots was initiated in 2018 as part of the national strategy for revitalizing rural areas.

In 2018, Qingxi Village reorganized its physical layout and upgraded its tourism infrastructure in collaboration with a state-owned tourism company. Qingxi has developed over 20 natural and cultural scenic spots, creating a relatively complete cultural and tourism service-industry chain, from the Zhou Libo-themed bookstore and theater to a variety of rustic homestays.

Homestays, artistic performances, and sales of specialized agricultural products are expected to surge as a result of the influx of visitors during the peak tourist season, when many book clubs and research institutions will host cultural events.

In 2021, the village saw almost 1 million visitors. Disposable income per person in 2021 was over 50,000 Yuan.

For over six years, Liu Shengnan, a local resident, has operated a tea house not far from where Zhou once lived. He sells a variety of artisanal teas and snacks. Her small shop’s annual profit has risen to over 100,000 yuan thanks to the increasing number of tourists.

“My life has undergone significant transformation since I opened a teahouse. I went from having almost no income to having a steady one and a more rewarding life in the process “added Liu.

More people are setting up shop in and around the village because of its growth. More than 200 people have relocated back to Qingxi in the past three years.

In fact, Deng Xudong is among the repatriated citizens. In 2019, he relocated to Qingxi Village from Shenzhen Municipality, the economic center of south China. Currently, farming, breeding, and livestream e-commerce make up the bulk of his business activities.

“Qingxi has undergone significant transformation over the past few years, and I hope to contribute to the city’s ongoing renaissance. The promising future of rural development offers young people numerous promising career paths “Deng remarked.