China will list more key villages across the country to promote the rural revitalization as well as rejuvenation of the tourism sector, according to a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the National Development and Reform Commission on Wednesday.
It will be the second batch of key rural tourism spots, while a total of 320 villages were initially designated as national-level key spots last year, which have set a good example showing the role that tourism plays in invigorating rural areas, the announcement said.
The villages to be listed will have to meet certain standards: they should be rich in culture and tourism resources, boast sound protection of rural culture, and have accommodation options that can meet tourists' needs, according to the circular.
Others include having a mature and high-quality system of tourist products, complete infrastructure and public services, and the capacity to help boost the local economy and employment with tourism.
In recent years, rural tourism has gained much popularity. Especially after the COVID-19 outbreak was brought under control in the country and various sectors started resumption, an increasing number of Chinese travelers have opted for rural destinations to get closer to nature and experience a slow-paced lifestyle instead of urban sightseeing tours.
Also, the countryside home-stays have become a big draw for visitors. Data from tujia.com, a leading homestay booking platform in China, revealed that rural homestay reservations increased by 6 percent during the past May Day holiday.
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