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“Qiaojiale” B&Bs in Wencheng echo the call for shared prosperity
Date:2022-01-12 14:57:20 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

“Hanshe Huitang” in Changtang Village, Baizhangji Town, one of the first 10 “Qiaojiale” pilot B&Bs in Wencheng

It’s in the doldrums of the winter when business is supposed to be slow for B&B. However, in the overseas Chinese hometown of Wencheng County, the “Qiaojiale” brand B&Bs are seeing the nonstop flow of customers all year round, and the rooms are even booked six months in advance.

How come the B&Bs in Wencheng are so popular? Their owners revealed that the brand of “Qiaojiale” is the key. Now “Qiaojiale” is one of the three major regional B&B brands in Zhejiang Province. Wencheng has created and opened for business 18 “Qiaojiale” brand B&Bs, with another 14 under construction. Statistics show that they have received a total of 250,000 visitors and 112,000 overnight visitors, achieving a comprehensive income of more than 90 million yuan. All indicators of the brand are 30% higher than the relative indicators for the B&B industry in the county.

A niche drives the big industry to enrich villagers.

In recent years, many areas are sparing no effort to shape their exclusive regional B&B brands to attract targeted consumer groups, Zhoushan featuring the sea, Quzhou the mountains, Mogan Mountain the vacationing, and Lishui the rest and recuperation... Then what is the characteristic of “Qiaojiale” B&Bs in Wencheng? The 168,000 overseas Chinese from Wencheng give the answer. In 2020, Wencheng launched the regional “Qiaojiale” brand B&Bs, which aimed to promote the integration of natural ecology and the cultural resources of overseas Chinese. Its positioning is to bring visitors an experience of “fun”(which is “le” in Chinese) with the culture of “overseas Chinese”(“Qiao”) and the warmth of “home” (“jia”).

In the first batch of the “Qiaojiale” pilot B&Bs in Wencheng, there are altogether 10 homestays, one of which is “Hanshe Huitang” in Changtang Village, Baizhangji Town. Its owner is Huang Jing and his wife, an overseas Chinese couple who returned from Italy. Their seven-year-long sojourn in Italy has made them love life more than others. They are enjoying life, and like to chat with others. Making coffee, wine and delicious afternoon tea are their forte.

After the official opening of “Hanshe Huitang” in 2018, the reclusive luxurious holiday style of the homestay attracted many “fellow travelers”. However, as the owner, Huang Jing had more to think about: homestays could be found everywhere, then how could his homestay reflect his own characteristics and find a brand positioning in line with his own temperament?

A “brainstorming” in 2020 cleared up the doubts in Huang Jing’s mind. In this “brainstorming”, Wencheng government called on the owners of B&Bs, overseas Chinese leaders and government functionaries to discuss how to create regional characteristics for the development of the B&B industry. A consensus was reached in the end: to tap into the resources and characteristics of the overseas Chinese to package a number of high-end homestays for a unified brand, drive a large industry with a small starting point and attract high-end consumption from developed areas to the mountains for shared prosperity. In this year, “Qiaojiale” officially became synonymous with the high-end and high-quality B&B in Wencheng.

With the support of the brand, “Hanshe Huitang” reported excellent trading. In 2020, although the couple expanded the original 7 rooms to 10, its supply still fell short of demand. “There is neither high season nor low season for us,” said Huang Jing, “the brand and reputation of our ‘Qiaojiale’ B&B pass from mouth to mouth, and customers recognize our service.”

The “Qiaojiale” brand B&B not only brings riches to the couple, but also leads the surrounding neighborhood on the road to common prosperity. Pointing to a few houses being renovated at the entrance of the village, Mr. Huang told reporters that many neighbors saw through “Hanshe Huitang” the prospects for the development of B&B, and they were preparing to try B&B business and management.

For villagers in Changtang Village, the “Hanshe Huitang” B&B helps them sell their produces, red bayberry in summer and yams in winter. As Huang Jing and his wife specialize in lemon roast chicken, they bought more than 2,000 local chickens from villagers in 2020 alone, while the homestay’s souvenir of plum wine sold 2,500 kg. Another homestay, Leyun Shanju, helped farmers sell 10,000 kg of local products such as glutinous yam and pumpkin in 2020, increasing their income by 100,000 yuan.

It is such countryside B&Bs that allow the agricultural products of the remote Wencheng to go all over the country and even overseas. Through the farm produce sales method of “car boot + N express”, farmers achieve sales of nearly 100 million yuan. In particular, the premium for such special produces as red bayberry and glutinous yam is over 30%.

B&B cluster becomes a “new fulcrum” for shared prosperity

In 2020, Wencheng pioneered to forge the “Qiaojiale” brand industrial cluster, which consisted of 10 pilot homestays. Among them, 5 were in Wuyang Village, Nantian Town. In contrast to the “solo” development, the “Qiaojiale” B&B cluster like the one in Wuyang Village, with all its higher standard and qualified homestays, manifests obvious competitiveness.

Liu Jianbo, a returned overseas Chinese, made the same decision as Huang Jing to start his own business in his hometown. He has invested in the homestay of “Baihui Yangxuan Inn”, a “Qiaojiale” brand B&B in Wuyang Village. In the front of the inn is a patch of light royal chrysanthemums, and a few steps further on is a hundred-acre lotus pond. Liu Jianbo and his wife, who had been drifting around for more than 20 years, have attracted a number of guests to their inn with their authentic Italian coffee, vivid and realistic stories of their stay abroad and leisurely and relaxed lifestyle. The couple said that they decided to stay in Wencheng precisely because they saw the prospect of the “Qiaojiale” B&B cluster in Wuyang Village.

Different from the traditional rural tourism featuring staying in farmers’ houses, tasting farmhouse food and experiencing field picking, “Qiaojiale” B&B cluster in Wuyang gives the village a “new fulcrum” to pry the wealth for all. Data showed that driven by “Qiaojiale”, Wuyang Village in 2020 received a total of over 230,000 tourists with tourism revenue of more than 25 million yuan.

Liu Wanli, deputy director of the village committee of Wuyang, explained to the reporter the economics behind “Qiaojiale”: Wuyang Village built the “Nanshan Trail” Commercial Street by dint of the brand; taking advantage of its niche as the hometown of Liu Bowen, teacher of the founder of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the village creates numerous cultural derivatives such as the local specialties of “Bowen’s Tribute Tea” and “Emperor Teacher’s Imperial Chrysanthemum”, and the cultural and creative product of “Wencheng Fu” mascot, which are sold to all over the country. Villagers are now much richer than before either through opening B&Bs or by selling farm produces, and even the rent for houses in the village has risen by about 20% each year.

Looking at the whole county, the upstream and downstream industrial chains of “Qiaojiale” provide a variety of jobs in catering, accommodation and tour guide, directly and indirectly driving the employment of more than 5,000 farmers. In addition, “Qiaojiale” also activates more than 400 unused houses in Wencheng, and the houses, whose value has increased from less than 50,000 yuan to more than 1.4 million yuan each, become the milch cow in the eyes of thousands of people.

“Qiaojiale” brand lures in overseas Chinese with their capital to facilitate future rural revitalization

The ace of overseas Chinese resources enables B&Bs in Wencheng to rejuvenate. Now, the two villages of Wuyang and Shizhuang where “Qiaojiale” B&Bs gather have become the first future village pilots in Wenzhou. It is expected that the deep integration of the “Qiaojiale” B&B with future scenarios of entrepreneurship, architecture, culture and services will drive the future development of the villages.

From opening characteristic homestays to promoting the sale of agricultural and sideline products, from leading rural employment to driving the collective income of rural areas, “Qiaojiale” has opened up the industrial chain of rural revitalization on the road to common prosperity, and moreover realized the great synergy between overseas Chinese at home and abroad. Data shows that since the launch of the “Qiaojiale” brand, Wencheng has attracted nearly 10,000 overseas Chinese to return home in less than two years, with 500 million yuan of overseas Chinese capital flowing back and 7 industrial projects each worth over 100 million yuan landed. These funds and projects have injected strong momentum into rural revitalization.

The bright outlook of future rural revitalization shown by the “Qiaojiale” brand B&B has directly attracted to Wencheng over 500 professionals with experience of starting businesses in rural areas, expertise and management. In the past two years, by innovating business models, Wencheng promoted the linkage of interest between “Qiaojiale” brand and farmers, companies, Makers and village collectives, so that more talents with ambition, management know-how and experience joined the rank of “Qiaojiale” brand, changing the “net outflow” of talents in Wencheng to “net inflow” and stocking talent resources for the shared prosperity in the county.

“Qiaojiale” brand B&Bs in both Chinese and western styles convey the concept of leisurely and idyllic modern life; it represents the close integration of international culture and Chinese rural culture. In the next three years, Wencheng will continue to release the potential of the green water and mountains and the massive resources of overseas Chinese businessmen and capital in its endeavor to build the “Qiaojiale” brand B&Bs. The goal is to foster over 100 “Qiaojiale” brand B&Bs and over 5 “Qiaojiale” B&B clusters by 2025, which will receive more than 1 million tourists annually, so that the brand will become a model to promote shared prosperity in the county.

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