Regional Development

Innovation boosts rural tourism in Hainan province

Updated: Nov 4, 2022 Xinhua Print
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A cafe built under a water tower in a small village of South China's Hainan province has become a tourist attraction.

In the stylish wooden cabin in Dashan village of Ding'an county, customers can enjoy a cup of coffee while appreciating the idyllic countryside scenery around them.

Amid China's rural vitalization drive, Dashan village, with a population of around 1,000, has been tapping into its own resources and creativity to develop rural tourism.

After thorough discussions, cadres and villagers decided to build the cafe under the water tower. "It is creative and can help make good use of the space under the tower," said Ni Zhijian, secretary of the village's Party branch.

The cafe was set up with the support of government funds and it opened for business at the end of last year. The villagers were excited to see photos and videos featuring the cafe appearing on different online platforms and more tourists were seen in the village as a consequence.

Sometimes the cafe is so crowded with customers that it has to borrow tables and chairs from villagers in order to provide more seating outside.

The creativity of the village does not stop there. Besides the cafe, scenic spots such as hill stone corridors, walls with water paintings, and a themed park are turning the village into a sought-after tourist destination.

Catering for the needs of tourists, companies were established to organize villagers to grow agricultural products such as litchi, passion fruit, wax apple and coffee.

"Ding'an county has been encouraging towns and villages to tap cultural resources to boost rural revitalization," said Yuan Zhen, deputy director of the rural revitalization bureau of the county.

In Wentouling village of the county, a shared farm featuring the industry of fragrant herbs was founded. The villagers grow different kinds of rare fragrant herbs from worldwide.

"Tourists not only get to enjoy the beautiful scenery but can also learn to make perfumes and taste food made with herbs," said Chen Baodi, general manager of the farm. The farm has received some 300,000 tourists since it started operation in February 2021.

College graduate Hu Shize quit his job in the city and returned home to Citan village where he founded a specialized cooperative for tourism. Over 40 households of villagers joined this tourism initiative.

"We have also established our own agricultural brand and our products have been chosen by a Michelin restaurant in Shanghai as materials for their cuisine," he said.

"The government will continue supporting such programs so as to encourage local people to come up with more creative ideas to develop their villages," said Yuan.

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