Using every part of a place to develop tourism

By Zhao Ruixue| (China Daily)| Updated : 2021-01-05

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Rongcheng's Yandunjiao village develops homestays for visitors. [Photo by Zhao Ruixue/China Daily]

People in most villages in northern China spend winters idly after the year's harvest until the planting season arrives in spring. Not so for the inhabitants of Yandunjiao village in Shandong province's Rongcheng city.

"We are much busier in winter than in summer," resident Gao Yongjin says.

Gao runs the village's biggest homestay, which is less than 10 meters from the bay where thousands of whooper swans fly from Siberia and other regions and stay from November to April.

"People come to see the swans in winter," Gao says.

"They prefer to stay in our village for several days to enjoy seaside life. We also have cafes to accommodate tourists' different tastes."


Bird watchers and photographers from around the country come to Rongcheng in Shandong province to see whooper swans, which stay from November to April. [Photo by Zhao Ruixue/China Daily]

Gao says over 60 of the village's roughly 220 families run homestays. Tourism development has brought drastic improvements to their lives.

Yandunjiao was listed as a designated village of rural tourism in China this year by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Gao attributes the village's progress to the local government's efforts to advance tourism-based holistic development across the city.

Rongcheng launched a campaign to improve sewage treatment and river-water quality years ago. Rongcheng's offshore waters are now rated Grade 2, the second highest in China's five-tier water-quality evaluation system, which means it's drinkable after treatment.

"You can see our village is so clean," Gao says.

"We don't have professional cleaners. We volunteer to keep our village clean because we know the benefits of a clean environment."

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