The red lanterns are hung high, the new Spring Festival couplets are pasted neatly, and tourists and villagers are in an endless stream on the clean road. On the square, the sound of gongs and drums and the sound of suona are all in one. In the Spring Festival, the folk performance “Carrying the Emperor’s Bars” was staged in Lijiazhuang Village, which won applause from the crowd and added a strong flavor of the year to this small mountain village in the Taihang Mountains.
Lijiazhuang Village, Xibaipo Town, Pingshan County, Hebei Province, is close to Gangnan Reservoir. It is a small mountain village surrounded by water on three sides, backed by mountains on one side, and the land is barren. A few years ago, the collective annual income of the village was only 20000 yuan.
It is not far from the revolutionary shrine Xibaipo. In recent years, taking advantage of red cultural resources and green ecological advantages, the village has taken a series of measures such as environmental renovation, residential renovation, infrastructure construction, industrial development, etc. to create a red tourism village with Taihang style and become a demonstration site for rural revitalization in the county.
“In the past, the common people made a living by digging in the soil and working outside. Now, dozens of homestays have been set up in the village, and the rural tourism is booming, and everyone’s life is also growing.” Qi Zhiqin, the operator of Zuolin Youli Inn, said.
Lijiazhuang Village’s cultural and tourism integration street operates more than 30 kinds of local specialties, such as sweet potato noodles, sesame oil, millet, bacon, and Shaobing (Baked cake in griddle) made by villagers. The village has also built cherry and apple picking gardens, set up fishing grounds, RV camps, handicraft workshops, etc., forming an industrial chain covering “food, housing, travel, shopping and entertainment”. Here, tourists can experience the folk culture with rural characteristics, and can also feel the simple and quiet farm life. During the Spring Festival holiday in the Year of the Rabbit, some foreign tourists will spend the Spring Festival here.
“In addition to the surrounding areas, some tourists from Beijing, Tianjin and other places also come to visit during the holidays,” said Liu Lining, secretary of the Party branch of Lijiazhuang Village. In 2022, the village will receive more than 200000 tourists of various types, such as tourism, leisure and recreation, folk experience, etc., with tourism income of about 38.6 million yuan and village collective income of 850000 yuan. Young people don’t go out to work. They can earn money at home by working as guides, opening restaurants, and running homestays. Next, the village will introduce cafes, bars, fast food restaurants and so on to make people more and more popular.
During the Spring Festival, the characteristic block of “Baili Water Town” in Baili Village, Xibaipo Town also attracted many tourists.
Relying on the beautiful natural landscape, Baili Village has transformed the old dilapidated village into a comprehensive tourist resort featuring the culture of Taihang Ancient Town, guided by characteristic commerce, and integrating cultural experience, ecological tourism, research and education, health care and vacation. “When tourism is started in the village, we can earn money without leaving the village, and we can earn money by guarding our door,” said Li Suhong, a villager.
The village also plans to build a forsythia plantation covering an area of about 200 mu and a chrysanthemum plantation covering an area of 20 mu, so as to promote the employment and income of villagers. “Industrial prosperity is the cornerstone of rural revitalization. Through the development of characteristic commercial blocks and ecological planting, the per capita disposable income of the village exceeded 10000 yuan last year,” said Chen Xuelei, secretary of the Party branch of Baili Village.
As a large mountain county and an old revolutionary base, Pingshan County has adhered to the principle of establishing the county by ecology and prospering the county by tourism in recent years, vigorously developed cultural and tourism industries such as rural tourism and ecological health care, and constructed a cultural and tourism integration development pattern to help the people increase income and rural revitalization. A number of villages, like Lijiazhuang Village, rely on rural tourism to gradually explore a path of rural revitalization for the beauty of the village and the prosperity of the people.