Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Rural tourism helps poverty alleviation in SW China

Southwest China’s Yunnan Province has been trying to make the best use of local landscape, to help poverty-stricken people in mountainous areas.

The practice, though not the most critical measure in poverty alleviation, has shown its effectiveness.

Yingjiang, a far-flung southwest county in the province, is making efforts and has many examples in the sector.

In Longmenzhai Village, some 34 kilometers north of the county town, Yu Genjin and her family are managing an agritainment restaurant.

She usually welcomes guests by singing songs of Jingpo ethnicity in Yingjiang County.

With the countryside restaurant, Yu now lives a life she couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago.

She said when she got married and moved to Longmenzhai Village in 2011, everything was backward.

“At that time, we lived with our livestock in a stinky house that had muddy floors. What’s worse, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit this area in 2014. But luckily, with help from government and others, we rebuilt and renovated our home,” she said.

Pai Deliang, Yu’s husband, was then a migrant worker with annual savings less than 360 US dollars, but now he helps his family-run new business.

“Everything changed especially in 2016 when we began to build and run this farm restaurant,” he said.

Now the couple receives visitors mainly from neighbouring cities and towns and has earned a total of more than 14,000 US dollars last year, five times more than 2016. This is only one of the agritainment trials for poverty alleviation in Yingjiang County.

In Xiamengpi Village, some 20 kilometres away, the same situation is seen.

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