SPECIAL NOTE: Ian is from Guizhou. He and his future wife have just migrated to Australia because she had lived there for a period of time in the past. He is now being interviewed for a job. Ian has good academic credentials…was my student from the university where I was a visiting professor, then studied in England, then returned to hold an important job that allowed him to travel to USA and other places a few times, and then he decided to be a teacher, and now embarking on a new career in a whole alien environment: Australia. Australia, within this past year, is experiencing some Crisis with Chinese students from China, some being accused of working for the Chinese government, or being told how to behave in Australia. It seems many students belong to an academic association of both Chinese professors and students studying overseas…and through this organisation China is able to demand their loyalty to China and to behave the way China wants them to behave…And Australia and some other countries are taking note of this behavior, influenced by Chinese government. Anyway even stupid Trump now expresses fear that some Chinese students are not students, but more than students, coming to USA to study and to steal our American secrets, ahahahaha! Laughable! Any way, Ian’s roots are in Guizhou. It seems there is a trend in mainland China for some of the rich people in Beijing to migrate south, not overseas since many of the rich do not speak English…but Guizhou and other places in the south are clean and less polluted than urban cities in the north! Many foreigners do visit the south to escape from the extreme heat in the north and central China…so it is a haven for westerners, especially during the summer months! But Guizhou is doing what many other provinces are doing in China…make the best of the natural environment and exploit it to make money for the people who live there. There is a strange movement or trend in China now…and that is the central government is encouraging many graduates to return to their small home towns or villages, and the government will help you to develop your talents or abilities…help your country to grow and become rich. So we see a trend in China now…many towns and cities are developing their local specialty…whatever that might be…if you are good in making chocolates, be the best chocolate city in China,,,if you are in making certain local noodles, be the best noodle city in China…you get the idea…in fact one city now is focusing on sex, everything and anything to do with sex, as a major local tourist attraction…in modern China, everything is possible…JUST DO IT! build a road, and people will use it! Steve USA August 6, 2018 firstname.lastname@example.org
Guizhou is leading the way as example of poverty alleviation through tourism
By Morag Hobbs (People’s Daily Online) 10:12, August 03,
If you build it, they will come. The phrase could not be more apt than for the city of Liupanshui in Guizhou province, which through building a mammoth, interconnected tourism industry is lifting itself out of position as the poorest province in China.
After a week in Liupanshui city, it’s clear to see the vast improvements that are being made to entice people in and the vast mountain regions that mean visitors are sure to come flooding back. The people you meet here seem happy, and are proud to let you in on their unique culture and beautiful surroundings with broad smiles.
As you drive through the province there is construction everywhere, and not just for the benefit of visitors. Locals are building extra floors on their farmhouses, or extra homes next door. You get a sense that although people are already moving out of poverty, the people of Guizhou have something much bigger planned.
“Tourism + poverty alleviation + three strategies”
While many poorer areas in China have previously focused on agriculture and industry, Guizhou is using methods to combine already present industries with tourism, hoping to make the city of Liupanshui as famous a destination as Guilin in neighboring Guangxi province.
Using the “three strategies” reform of comprehensively eliminating poverty, building a moderately prosperous society and promoting basic modernization, the region is using a system where industries work with and rely on each other, creating a circle of support, opportunity and ultimately wealth. Starting by using tourism as a method of poverty alleviation in line with the government’s reform is a bold move as Guizhou, until recently, remained fairly unheard of to those outside of China.
However, the province is opening up to tourism at the perfect time. Thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative and strengthening ties with ASEAN countries, China is becoming a more popular holiday destination with associated countries. As Vithit Powattanasuk, Director of Information and Public Relations, ASEAN-China Centre, explained in his opening speech at the 2018 Belt and Road and ASEAN media tour to Liupanshui, “There were nearly 50 million mutual visits between both sides [ASEAN countries and China] last year. The number of exchange students exceeded 200,000.”
Seeing the opportunity for growth, Liupanshui municipal governments and Guizhou provincial government have invested in all areas across culture, scenic spots and agriculture to make every corner of the province richer.
The perfect combination
The wild jade sea scenic spot and Yi village is the perfect example of how cultural tourism will work in tandem with poverty alleviation in one of the 100 tourist scenic spots that Guizhou is currently planning or building. The government will help 169 groups amounting to 4,213 people who were previously sporadically placed or in small, poverty stricken villages, resettling poor households in nearby tourism service areas.
Therefore, villagers who previously had no income will be able to not only live in a new, purposefully made village but also gain employment in a new tourism hub. Tourism will not only include visiting the villages and scenic spots, but taking part in cultural activities such as welcome dances, bonfire parties and wine tasting. This model not only effectively solves the problem of people living in poverty, but also inherits and develops the national culture.
A finished version of a cultural heritage village is Langdai ancient town. The streets are crowded and children wearing cutesy t-shirts and eating snacks peer out of their doors curiously. This town is lived in, but it’s also a tourist destination. The merging of ancient culture and modern society is evident with a trip down Food Street, as you watch villagers make traditional rice cakes next to a child playing a game on their parent’s phone. Again, this town lives from an influx of tourists from Huangguoshu scenic spots and the Zangke River, which the government has purposefully regenerated to bring in more visitors.
The Zangke River scenic area is located to the north of the Panjiang river valley area, covering an area of 259 square kilometers. The steep rocky walls to either side of the river give way to beautiful green-blue water, rolling hills and tiny fishing villages. The only sound comes from the boat moving through the water and the distant knock, knock, knock, of another house being built. Locals from this peaceful area are making the best of the new scenic area.
“I used to work in the town as a clothing business and was barely able to support my family. Now I have a happy farmhouse and my income has increased tenfold,” said Qiu Xiaoying, who used her savings to buy two speedboats to carry tourists along the river.
Agriculture feeding tourism
The government doesn’t merely rely on traditional culture and local scenery to get tourists interested. They are building ski slopes, cableways, paragliding centers – the list goes on. Cleverly creating a model where each industry feeds the next, no stone is left unturned when it comes to investing in the areas that will boost the region’s income.
As an area with obvious rich soil and extensive farmland, as well as a history of farming that goes back hundreds of years, the implementation of agricultural products that are specialized to the area and can be sold to tourists domestically and also exported was the next big challenge. Luckily, Guizhou has perfect conditions for the red hearted kiwi-fruit to grow, as well as blueberries, grapes, and a variety of other delicious options. These are popular with people near and far, with 6700 mu of kiwi fruit orchards being built with over 60 million yuan of investment in this farm alone. Not one to miss a trick, the area won’t only rely on selling to towns and cities home and abroad, but will also create its own tourism, with a sightseeing and fruit picking area, perfect for a family day out.
By going full circle, all industries in Guizhou are not only self sufficient, but also connect and support other tourism avenues, too. It’s through this type of clever thinking and investment that China will continue to win the fight against poverty and has a very real chance of completely eradicating the country’s poverty by 2020.