Tourist-oriented roads drive boom in tourism sector and prosperity for rural residents in China
By Yin Jie, People’s Daily Overseas Edition
As many families enjoy outing during this spring, more and more tourist-oriented roads are emerging across China. These well-designed and popular roads are leading rural residents of the country to a happier and wealthier life.
Changchi Road, which links Changling township, Changping district of Beijing, with Chicheng county, north China’s Hebei province, is very popular with self-driving tour enthusiasts in Beijing.
Since now is the season when peach blossoms in full bloom grace the mountain road, a great number of tourists who prefer road trips and wish to enjoy the view of flowers have chosen the road as an important part of their trips.
The winding road, where tourists can also see the grand and imposing Great Wall in Beijing along the way, is known as one of the most attractive mountain roads on the outskirts of Beijing.
Chang Qi, who is quite fond of self-driving tours, has driven on Changchi Road for many times.
“I drive along the road almost every weekend in spring for fear of missing the blooming season of peach blossoms and having to wait for another year,” Chang said, adding that the flower season of peach blossoms is short and usually lasts from late March to early April.
There are parking areas along Changchi Road, and some plank roads have been built near the road, so that tourists can pull up and walk up the mountains.
Chang still has vivid memories of his trips to Changchi Road in the spring of 2020. “When I arrived at a parking area along the road, I saw adults and children taking photos under flowering peach trees and laughing joyfully. Although everyone was wearing a mark for epidemic prevention, I knew that they felt relaxed and happy at that time,” he said.
The number of tourists that drive along Changchi Road this year has risen significantly compared with that in 2020, according to Chang.
Shexian county in Hebei has built in the countryside a tourist road that connects over 300 culture-themed tourist destinations.
The country road stretching over hundreds of miles has drawn numerous tourists and effectively vitalized local tourism, driving rapid development of revolution-themed tourism, roots tourism, and increasing popularity of sightseeing tours.
The tourism boom in Shexian county has motivated local villagers to establish B&B hotels and agritainment restaurants, thus leading villages and local residents to prosperity.
Xiaojinkou village located in the northern mountainous area of Shengzhuang township, Tai’an, east China’s Shandong province, didn’t have a single decent road in the past, when residents in the village faced great difficulty getting out of the mountains.
Today, a 23.8-kilometer-long tourist road that connects Xiaojinkou village and eight other villages has not only made it easier for villagers to travel, but also promoted the sale of local tea and the development of tourism industry.
With the fresh air, beautiful scenery and high-quality local specialties in the village attract tourists from afar, the once poor village has become more and more prosperous.
Wang Zhiqing, vice minister of China’s Ministry of Transport, recently disclosed that China will channel more efforts into making transport construction projects benefit villages and rural residents and advancing the construction of roads to drive the development of tourism, industries, and better utilization of resources, in a bid to implement the strategy of rural vitalization and consolidate and expand the results in poverty alleviation.
According to Wang, China will fully build a rural road transportation system that fits the modernization of agriculture and rural areas, matches the ecological environment and culture of rural areas, and is integrated with modern information and communication technologies by the middle of the 21th century.
Over the past decades, China has not only built more roads in the countryside, but made its rural roads more beautiful. The positive changes in tourist roads across the country are in fact mirrors of the vigorous development of rural areas in China.
“The easiest way to learn about the development and changes in a place is to travel along the most characteristic road of the area,” said a citizen surnamed Zhao, who enjoys self-driving trips. Zhao believes that in this way, one can see the footprints of a city’s development as well as the progress made by China.