The Chinese authorities are to increase their levels of investment into developing rural tourism, with a total of CNY550 billion (US$81bn) to be allocated to rural tourism initiatives by the end of this year.
According to an action plan released by Beijing’s National Development and Reform Commission and other government agencies, the rise in funding is intended to try and improve rural infrastructure and tourist provisions in rural areas, including improved toilets, garbage disposal, parking areas and visitor centres, which will all make for a better visitor experience.
As well as hard cash, governmental policy support will be provided to help alleviate poverty in rural areas of the sprawling country.
Local villages will be encouraged to cooperate with online travel companies bringing tourists to the area, and greater financial support will be offered for small and medium-sized travel agencies.
The figure of CNY550 billion represents a sizeable increase on previous levels of investment, which stood at CNY390bn in total last year. Around 2.5 billion trips to the countryside are expected to be made and CNY1.4 trillion of rural tourism revenues are expected to be banked, a strong return on the investment.
Rural China is already a fascinating place to explore as a tourist: you can survey rows of teeth-like mountains along the banks of the Li River, take in the majestic misty scenes either side of the Great Wall, lose yourself in the bamboo forests, snap away with your camera in the rice paddies and much more.
And with the new investment coming throughout the rest of the year, the rural regions of China look set to be even more worth your visit than ever before.