Series of projects underway to boost rural tourism

Updated: Jul 30, 2021 China Daily Print
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The rural tourism sector in Beijing is on the road to recovery, according to local officials at a recent news conference on the city's economic performance in the first half of 2021.

The number of tourists to Beijing's rural areas has recovered to 66.1 percent of that of the same period of 2019, and business revenue has recovered to some 90 percent.

The agricultural administration in the city has taken a new approach to developing leisure agriculture, boosting rural tourism through a series of projects, in a bid to create a variety of signature travel routes and visitor services and facilities.

The projects include some 10 tourism routes designed around Beijing's outer areas, which feature the Great Wall, the Xishan Mountains, the Yongding River area, the ancient lanes to the west of the city and the Taoyuan Fairy Valley in Miyun district.

Beijing's wealth in tourism resources is rooted in its history, rich cultural heritage and many landmarks, local officials said.

The city government has ramped up efforts to build more than 100 of what it calls "leisure villages"-these villages will have improved leisure facilities for visitors such as shopping areas, restaurants, tea shops, accommodation and better infrastructure including roads and housing.

The village of Duijiaogoumen in Huairou district is a demonstration leisure village in the suburbs of Beijing, where once dilapidated houses have been rebuilt into traditional courtyard dwellings made of the gray bricks and green tiles.

The environmentally friendly village-surrounded by mountains and streams and exuding a fresh pastoral atmosphere-harks back to the traditional lifestyle of the Manchu ethnic group in ancient times.

More than 1,000 leisure agricultural parks, yet to be built, are among the city's projects aimed at boosting rural tourism.

The city government will increase efforts to improve agricultural parks, not only for visitors to better experience agricultural activities like planting seedlings and picking fruits, but also for children to learn more about agricultural production and cultural heritage, and for the elderly to spend a peaceful time after retirement, officials said.

The government plans to rebuild and upgrade nearly 10,000 traditional folk custom homestays located in and around the city over the next few years, improving both facilities and service standards.

Laomujiang is a demonstration homestay in Huairou district that features works of exquisite carpentry, a rustic courtyard with a pastoral aesthetic. The homestay serves as an example to others as to the standards and quality the government is working toward in the area.

According to the Beijing government, the city is home to seven national-level leisure agriculture and rural tourism demonstration districts; 21 national-level leisure agriculture and rural tourism demonstration sites; 38 beautiful leisure villages; and 151 agricultural parks at national and municipal levels.

A fruit seller pitches peaches to a tourist in Pinggu district on the outskirts of Beijing. REN CHAO/XINHUA


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