Chinese village develops tourism to lift residents out of poverty
By developing tourism, Hetu Ala village, northeast China's Liaoning province, has lifted local villagers out of poverty.
Previously, residents in Hetu Ala village, Yongling town under Man autonomous county of Xinbin, Liaoning province, mainly earned a living by working on the farmland. Many of them earned an annual income of less than 10,000 yuan (about $1,461), and the village was also blighted by poor infrastructure and living conditions.
"When I first came to the village in 2015, I found the young people had left their hometown to earn more money, and the village was over 4 million yuan in debt," said Luo Tiancheng, Party chief of Hetu Ala village.
The only industry in the village depended on an orchard with an area of about 333,000 square metres, but it had been abandoned due to negligent management, Luo added.
Using its regional advantages, the local government started to explore rural tourism to increase the villagers’ incomes.
Starting from 2012, the number of tourists in Xinbin has increased at an annual rate of 15 percent, bringing opportunities for villagers in Hetu Ala to develop the B&B business.
The village rented the farmyards of residents out to companies for standardized management, and in addition to the rent, residents could also earn money by working in the farmyards.
The village also began operating the orchard so that tourists could go fruit-picking, and cultivated products full of local characteristics, such as cheongsams, to boost revenue.
In 2018, the village received 1.1 million tourists, with total income exceeding 100 million yuan. Tourism has generated jobs for over 1,100 villagers.
As of the end of 2018, all 77 registered poverty-stricken households had been lifted out of poverty, with each villager’s annual income reaching 32,200 yuan.
*This articles was republished in partnership with People’s Daily Online SA.