China to build over 6,000 model tourism villages by 2020 to boost rural tourism
6,000 model tourism villages will be developed nation wide by 2020，and over 100,000 tourism locations will be formed with three million country guesthouses.
According to the vision of the PRC General Office of the State Council (GOSC),about 6,000 model tourism villages will be developed nation wide by 2020，and over 100,000 agricultural leisure and village tourism locations will be formed with three million country guesthouses for rural tourism development that is expected to receive over two billion tourists a year and directly benefit 50 million rural residents.
Over 70% of Chinese urban residents choose rural tourism
“Rural tourism is a major front for domestic tourism and a new channel for kick-starting businesses and employment en masse,” the GOSC declared in its “General Office of the State Council’s directive on the promotion of tourism investment and consumption”
Rural tourism is said to have become the driving force of China’s domestic tourism market, which at over three billion trips every year is the largest in the world.
Over 70% of urban residents nationwide choose to vacation in nearby rural tourism areas and the number of urban residents visiting rural tourism sites around China’s major cities has been growing at an annual average of over 20% over the past few years, according to the China National Tourism Administration’s (CNTA) statistics.
There have been many cases of rural tourism powering regional development by enabling farmers to transition from agriculture to the service industry without leaving their villages or farmland and escaping poverty in a relatively short period of time. For example, in Henan province’s Chongdugou Village 89.4% of the rural households now make 95% of their annual income from operating guesthouses and tourism.
However, rural tourism is expected to benefit more than just farmers. The government’s “million rural tourism startups” action plan aims to attract and support one million people, including university graduates, returning migrant workers, retired urban workers, artists and technical specialists, via subsidized supervision and expert training to start business to develop the rural tourism industry.
The State will provide incentives for experts in the cultural, arts and technology fields and provide expertise and business support to form village startups in villages with potential.(Translation by David)