Epitome of Guizhou’s rural tourism development

Epitome of Guizhou’s rural tourism development: Danzhai’s transformation into national landmark

by guizhou.huanqiu.com

Image Source: guizhou.huanqiu.com

On the first day of Chinese Spring Festival, Wang Fangzhou, a local of Danzhai County, puts on his Miao-style costumes and leaves home for his Miao’s batik franchise in Danzhai Wanda Town. In the morning, a Miao-style dance performance is staged in the town square, and in the afternoon, there is his favorite “bullfight”. The bustling streets are packed with tourists and performers in costumes. Wang Fangzhou says he’d like to open early today.

Watching the guests vanish into the distance, he is reminded of ‎Danzhai ten years ago. “There is a world of difference. I never expected to make a ‎living in the county,” says Wang Fangzhou.

A decade ago, it was hard to get around in ‎Danzhai. With no local pillar industries, most of the young people would leave the ‎county and find jobs in coastal areas. Wang Fangzhou was one of the migrant workers.‎

Business street of Danzhai Wanda Town in southwest China’s Guizhou province.(Courtesy of Danzhai County Convergence Media Center)

Located in hilly and mountainous inland areas, Guizhou Province is pressured with multiple brakes on poverty alleviation. To keep villagers away from poverty and to reshape the image of Guizhou, the province kicked off a new stage of “rural revitalization” scheme in 2020. With a full evaluation of its own resources and the consumer market potential, Guizhou began to make use of its unique natural landscape and village culture to develop rural tourism and explore “regenerative” industries.

Under the guideline of driving rural revitalization with tourism, Danzhai, once a poverty-stricken county, worked with Wanda Group and brought forth earth-shaking changes. According to estimates, Danzhai Wanda Town has received more than 30.3 million tourists since its opening several years ago, creating a total of 24.7 billion yuan of tourism revenue for the whole county, and living up to its reputation as a famous tourist town.

The unique folk customs are a dazzling feature of Danzhai Wanda Town. Original design and creations have turned the town into a distinctive place with special intangible cultural heritage, Miao and Dong cuisine, medicine, etc. With considerate and professional services and the modern support facilities in place, the county seldom fails to offer visitors a comfortable and special vacation.

“Exploring the integration of agriculture and tourism and cultivating characteristic industries is an important direction for Danzhai to explore rural revitalization.” Wu Jian, director of Danzhai County Tourism Development Service Center, told reporter.

As an epitome of rural tourism development in Guizhou Province, Danzhai County has built a Wanda Town while moving forward with its tea plantation. Tea brands like Danzhai Black Tea and Danzhai Green Tea have been certified by the high-standard European Union and exported overseas. Today, tea of Danzhai has become a must-buy “souvenir” for visitors.

Guizhou is known for its rich ethnic cultures, and Danzhai is no exception. With the support of the government, National intangible culture heritage products made by Miao people’s batik, ancient paper-making and embroidery skills have all been driving the bloom of rural tourism. This has not only promoted the protection and inheritance of Miao people’s heritage and handicrafts, but also helped more than 3,000 local women make a more decent living with their craft and effectively advanced rural revitalization.

Unique rural tourism not only makes Danzhai County an excellent case of tourism-driven poverty alleviation in the World Tourism Alliance, but also opens a window for overseas tourists to learn about Guizhou. According to local people, they have been receiving more and more foreign tourists. In the “rotating town mayor” event at Wanda Town, Edmund Enstone, British male model, served as the first foreign “rotating town mayor”, infusing a shred of exoticism to rural tourism.

In 2021, Danzhai Wanda Town was granted the “Top Ten National IP Awards”, ‎another evidence of the county’s achievements. The competition committee commended ‎Danzhai Wanda Town for its mix-up of intangible culture heritage and modern commerce and use of cultural ‎tourism to drive the all-round development of the county, lifting itself out of poverty two years ahead of schedule and setting off its journey towards “wealth”.

At the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Jin Cancan, a 12-year-old boy from Danzhai County served as a flag bearer of the World Cup. His appearance reminded the world once again of the once-poverty-stricken Guizhou marching towards prosperity confidently.