Rural tourism is a hot trend in China now, accounting for a third of all holidays, with 1.2 billion countryside holidays in 2014 alone. It’s important for tourists to be aware of China travel health advice especially in rural areas. The Chinese Tourism Association told a recent conference that the trend had created 22 million jobs, and increased average farmer income by about $1500.
The trend reflects different aspects of China's complicated economy. In recent years, farm earnings have been low, causing many farmers to migrate to coastal cities for factory jobs. At the same time, this migration, often without permits, has led to unstable situations in a number of cities.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a huge impact on the global economy, China's agriculture sector delivered a robust performance in the first quarter of 2020, which analysts say is the foundation of the economic stability and enabled the country to cope with the epidemic headwinds.
World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley recently warned of a hunger pandemic across the world in tandem with the coronavirus pandemic. According to WFP projections, unless swift action is taken, the economic impact of COVID-19 could cause the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity to rise from 135 million in 2019 to 265 million in 2020.
In the first quarter of 2020, China recorded a 3.5 percent year-on-year increase in the added value of the planting industry, and the breeding sows in stock expanded by 9.8 percent from the end of 2019, said Wei Baigang, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Tuesday.
The stable performance of the agricultural sector has provided strong support for China's epidemic control and overall development, Wei said, pledging efforts to ensure the country's annual grain output reaches over 650 billion kg and restore the hog production to the normal level by the end of this year.
China is now encouraging workers to return home to set up businesses to serve the rural tourism movement, including small inns and restaurants and homestay locations. The customers for this are a growing class of city people with increased disposable income, more transportation options, and a desire for time away from the city.
"Wonderful nature, healthy food and a laid-back lifestyle make rural vacations attractive," according to Shao Qiwei, head of the Tourism Association. China's plans include 150,000 rural tourism villages, 3 million family inns, and 2 billion rural visits by 2020. For more details from People's Daily Online.