Better Tourism, Better Life, Better World project shows cases of Poverty Alleviation through tourism in China. Project includes a documentary series and a photo exhibition.
Enshi Grand Canyon Scenic Zone in Hubei Province, China
Located in Mount Wuling, the Enshi Grand Canyon scenic zone used to be known as a very poor place in Hubei Province, which high alps and deep valleys and lacking in transport facilities and communication channels with the outside world. The five villages and one residential area in the scenic zone had 182 village groups consisting of 7,456 households with 30,088 people, including 2,812 registered impoverished households with 9133 people.
By exploring the “tourism” poverty relief model, Hubei Cultural & Tourism Investment Group Co., Ltd, invested in building the Enshi Grand Canyon SA national scenic area. It developed the Qixinzhail (7 Star Village) and Yunlong (Cloud Dragon) Crevice scenic spots as the main tourist projects and produced “Dragon Boat Tune” and other shows. It also built homestays by leasing villagers’ idle houses and land, providing jobs and opportunities to start businesses for local residents, These endeavors effectively helped the entire impoverished area to get out of poverty and the poor families to earn a stable income. In 2019 the area was officially removed from the list of impoverished areas.
Mount Wudang Scenic Area in Shiyan City, Hubei, China
Located in Shiyan City, Hubei Province, the Mount Wudang Scenic Area is a Taoist sacred site. In recent years, the Scenic Area, in pursuit of all-for-one tourism, have made continuous efforts to help the area fight against poverty by integrating culture, tourism and agriculture, building “beautiful countryside” and advancing rural revitalization. It worked proactively to guide market entities to set up shop and develop tourism in the villages. It pushed for land transfer and the building of infrastructure.
A number of key projects were completed, including high quality homestays built with Wudang Mountain culture characteristics, such as Fudiju (Blessed-land House). Yinxianbieyuan (Invisible Immortal Courtyard). Lingshanju (Lingshan Mountain House), Xianshanju (Immortal Mountain House) and Benlai Homestay, as well as the Langmeixigu (Plum and Stream Valley), Yuanhe Temple Village, Baxianguan (Eight Immortals Temple) Village and Zixiao (Purple Cloud) Village tourism demo zones. Multiple measures were employed to give full play to the leading role of tourism, including brand promoting, the use of policy incentives, targeted marketing, capital injection, benchmarking, private business cooperation and integration of culture with tourism.
Work was also carried out to optimize the structure of the tourism industry, extend the industry value chain, develop more tourism products to enhance tourist experiences and vigorous efforts were taken to further the structural reform of the industry’s supply side as well as the transformation and upgrading of the all-for-one tourism industry in the Mount Wudang scenic area. At present, there are 62 recuperation homestays in scenic area with 590 rooms and 1082 beds.
Three Gorges Tribe Scenic Area in Yichang City, Hubei Province, China
The Three Gorges Tribe Scenic Area is located in Shipai Village, Yiling District, Yichang City, Hubei Province. Lying by the Yangtze River and at the foot of mountains, the area used to be a wilder place with earthen shelters and mud roads, where it was very difficult to move around. To address the situation, the Scenic Area, holding on to the principle of protection as priority, reasonable development, sustained utilization and common growth”, worked first to improve transportation and built six standard tourist ferries, and the Shipai and Sandouping wharves, which completely changed the way the villagers go out.
In addition, the authorities provided guidance for the villagers to shake off poverty by working in the tourism industry. Currently, more than 60% of the villagers around the scenic area are engaged in tourism-related businesses. The local villager-run hostels have more than 1,500 beds and about 10,000 seats in the hostels’ dining rooms. Meanwhile, for targeted poverty relief, the Scenic Area provided funds to support students from poor families going to school, and employed local villagers in the companies, so as to raise the education level of the villagers as well as increase villagers’ income.
Through development over the past 23 years, the Three Gorges Tribe area has become a national 5A tourist zone. The villagers’ lifestyle has undergone a sea change. Shipai Village and Wangjiaping Village have prospered through tourism.