Haojiaqiao in Shaanxi draws on revolutionary roots as part of rural vitalization efforts
In late April, Hao Changhong was busy preparing food at his newly opened homestay－a yard with a few houses reconstructed on cave dwellings in Haojiaqiao village in Suide county, Northwest China's Shaanxi province.
He was busy accommodating batches of tourists who arrived in the village to visit historical sites and experience leisure agriculture such as fruit and vegetable picking.
In recent years, the village has been developing Red tourism to promote rural vitalization. It now features an exhibition hall and the old residences of its historical farming heroes.
Hao, a 53-year-old native, raised his two sons by cooking outside Haojiaqiao. When he learned about the great changes that were taking place in the village, he decided to return and start a business. With the help of village officials, he renovated his cave house and opened his homestay.
"As a native of Haojiaqiao, I have special feelings for my hometown," he said. "The village has changed a lot, attracting more and more visitors. I believe my homestay has a bright future."
In the 1940s, Haojiaqiao was one of the first villages in the area to see booming grain production. It was part of the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia revolutionary area during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45). In 1943, Xi Zhongxun (1913-2002), who was Party chief of Suide, went to the village to continue field research and learned about the production experience of model farmer Liu Yuhou.
Liu's experience was promoted to other villages and set off a production craze, which greatly boosted grain supplies for soldiers and villagers at the revolutionary base.
In recent years, Haojiaqiao has been transformed into a Red tourism site, establishing education and patriotism bases at the old residences and developing local industries to boost rural vitalization.
Migrant workers Ma Bei and Liu Yongsheng returned to the village as the development of Red tourism brought in lots of visitors. The couple rent a booth to sell local specialties, handicrafts, snacks and beverages. "The village had few visitors in the past, but now tourists drive here in groups," Ma said. "We can earn 200 yuan ($30.27) a day in the best-case scenario, and I'm able to take care of my child who studies at the village school."