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Healthy changes

Updated: 2022-03-22 08:27 ( China Daily )
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Shanggantang village in Yongzhou, Hunan province, draws visitors with its ancient buildings nestled among the hills. JIANG KEQING/FOR CHINA DAILY

As tourism continues to fuel China's rural revitalization drive, fun-packed getaways and the wellness travel sector are booming, Yang Feiyue reports.

Culture and tourism have given rural development a shot in the arm and brought significant changes to local life.

More than 100,000 travelers annually flock to Bama Yao autonomous county in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region to enjoy the therapeutical air and natural environment, which has brought an improvement in the lives of villagers, who once struggled with poverty.

Deng Yongkang has been doing good business at his Renshou retreat, which has integrated healthy food, ethnic Yao acrobatic performances, a bamboo forest and rice paddies.

"People have been visiting in huge numbers as the county is widely considered to be an ideal location for health and wellness," Deng says.

Renshou retreat takes in 400,000 traveler visits every year, and has, to date, helped more than 50 rural households develop homestay businesses.

Average rural household income has increased by 30,000 yuan ($4,722) a year, according to the local authority.

Tourism has become a pillar industry for the county, which shook off poverty in 2019.

The county received more than 4.2 million tourist visits during the first six months of last year, and more than 36,000 villagers have managed to make a living via health and wellness tourism.

"We will further tap into the potential of Bama's health tourism and traditional medicine, and turn it into a world-class destination for the sector," says Huang Bingfeng, Party secretary of Bama.

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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