“Rooms for the 1st and 2nd have been fully booked, more than 80 percent of them have been booked online during Golden Week.” On the morning of September 23, the booking phone of “Longxiang Shuangfan” Home Stay Reception Center in Hengxi Street, Jiangning District, Nanjing rang non-stop. Wu Haiyan, a receptionist, told the reporter that it would be difficult to find a room during the National Day holiday.
The “Longxiang Shuangfan” homestay cultural group is located in the southwest of Nanjing, on the western Jiangning eco-tourism corridor’s central axis. It is named because of its proximity to Longshan Reservoir and its jurisdiction over two homestay cultural groups in Shangfan Village and Xingfan Village. It is an example that the Xiyang Community of Hengxi Street and the Tourism Industry， Group of Jiangning District jointly build to develop the tourism economy together. Every weekend and holiday, it becomes a “celebrity” place for people to experience rural scenery.
Three or four years ago, “Longxiang Shuangfan” was just a passing point leading to beautiful countryside. Its next stop is the famous Tea culture village of Huanglong Xian. The heavy traffic passed by morning to night, the villagers saw in their eyes and were anxious in their hearts. Shangfan Village and Xingfan Village also have an ideal ecological environment, but to make people stay, they must build homestay facilities and develop rural tourism. However, the rural construction fund is often hundreds of millions of yuan. Where is the money from?
Collective input is obviously powerless if it only relies on the village. Xiyang Community is a typical hilly and mountainous area. The geographical location is remote; the total number of households is only 1668. More than 70 percent of young people went out to work in the past, and it was almost a “hollow village.” What’s more, rural tourism is an “ultra-long cycle” investment project. And the capital input is huge, the village collective economy cannot afford it alone.
In 2016, Xiyang Community introduced the Tourism Industry Group of Jiangning District. Standing in the “tuyere” of Jiangning District to create a national all-area tourism demonstration area, Xiyang Community accelerated the beautiful rural western area’s upgrading. Build roads,and homestay facilities, beautify the environment… Just a few years, the enterprise has invested nearly 400 million yuan in building a Jinling boutique homestay cultural cluster integrating ecological tourism, characteristic culture homestay, traditional Chinese medicine health care, rural experience, and cultural and creative leisure experience, and so on. Shangfan Village and Xingfan Village have finally become the famous “Longxiang Shuangfan.”
Now it has significantly changed. The former empty farmhouses have been transformed into exquisite and elegant Xingfan Longyuan and Qiyou Yizhan. The farmhouse dishes have been created into “Hengxi flavor”, attracting tourists to enjoy themselves and forget to leave. The bigger change is in people. Wu Haiyan, a native, has witnessed significant changes in her hometown. After graduating from the foreign-related tourism major in 2017, she returned to her hometown and became a professional commentator. In Xiyang Community, there have been three or four hundred people like her working in the hometown. Young people no longer go out to work, and the countryside is more vibrant.
“The superior ecological environment of Hengxi is the biggest’ backer’ for rural revitalization to achieve a well-off life!” Xiyang Community Party Secretary Liu Dean said. In the past, the whole village only had two mud roads, outsiders can not come in, and agricultural products can not be sold out. Capital invested in the countryside is like a “golden key”. Infrastructure construction and beautiful countryside construction will open up the development space at once and paint a picture of rural revitalization and prosperity for people.
What is the effect of the co-construction of village & enterprises? Liu summed it up as: “Wealth, Growth and Strength.” “Wealth” means that the villagers are wealthy and can get employment in their hometown with an annual income of 70,000 or 80,000 yuan. “Growth” means that enterprises’ development potential increases, and superior ecology becomes the “backer” of enterprise development. “Growth” refers to the development of a collective economy. The annual collective income of the Xiyang Community has exceeded 2 million yuan, and it is more confident in improving people’s livelihood and improving the environment.
“We used to be a nursery base, but now we are transforming into an ecological leisure resort. We have jointly created the brand of ‘Longshan Shangxin Valley’，” Wang Yuanchun said, the chairman of Longshan Shangxin Valley leisure ecological agriculture company. At present, Jiangning strives to build a “model district of beautiful ancient capital”. The enterprise is negotiating with several surrounding villages to expand the scale further and drive more villagers to share the “beautiful economy”.