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Mist-shrouded Ming’ao energizes terrace farming tourism
Date:2022-06-10 17:51:16 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

At the end of last year, Yongjia proposed to further map out development by “Embracing the Oujiang River and City-Industry Integration”, with priorities given to “strengthening the county through industries, urban transformation and all-for-one tourism”. In the construction of all-for-one tourism, efforts will be made to foster core tourism zones, enhance the accommodation capacity for major events, intensify cooperation with leading tourism enterprises, promote the landing of cultural tourism projects and enhance the carrying capacity, influence and competitiveness of tourism.

The large-scale photography activity - “Photograph the Beautiful Countryside in Yongjia”, launched by Nanxi River Tourism Economic Development Center in conjunction with the Wenzhou Business Daily, will explore how beautiful countryside during the construction of all-for-one tourism embarks on the road of common wealth through the integration of culture and tourism. On May 28th and 29th, photographers in this activity went to terraces in Ming’ao, Yongjia to feel the strength of Ming’ao and the path of innovative development pioneered by rural Yongjia.

A new look in the millennial Ming’ao after empowering terraced fields

Taking advantage of the terrace resources, Ming’ao Township in Yongjia successfully has created thousands of acres of rape flower landscape and colorful paddy rice sightseeing area, attracting tourists and photography amateurs from all over the country. With such agricultural festivals as the “Rape Flower Festival” and “Terraced Fields Ploughing Festival”, the township, after constant innovation for market participation and encouraging the involvement of social capital, managed to introduce the net-famous recreational programs like the air adventure called “Flying Fairy” and sightseeing hot air balloons. During the 2021 Ploughing Festival, Ming’ao Changtanlong Scenic Area received 26,000 visitors, with a ticket income from the programs of 150,000 yuan, an increase of 468.28%. The total tourism income of that period reached 1.03 million yuan, a marked increase of 184.8%.

Ming’ao Township also endeavors to construct the No. 4 Photography Spot Viewing Platform, implement the scenic area water diversion project, and complete the version 2.0 of terraced landscape rural revitalization demonstration belt. So far, it has almost formulated an integrated development system with Changtanlong Park as the core, mist-shrouded terraced resources as the characteristics and multiple photography spot viewing platforms as the supplements, realizing the transformation from development through the single drive of agriculture to development through the dual force of agriculture and tourism.

Excellent field ditch supporting facilities for water governance in the township pave way for beautiful field scenery and increased food production, agricultural efficiency, farmer income and collective economy. Currently, the Beautiful Countryside of Ming’ao Changtanlong Terraces have covered 1000 mu (66.7 ha.) of beautiful fields featuring “concentrated management, supporting facilities, high and stable yield, disaster resistance and sound ecology”. On the whole, agricultural production conditions and farmers’ living environment have become better.

Integration of agriculture and tourism for high-quality development

This year, Ming’ao Township, with the key task of creating a provincial tourism resort, will continue to organize Ming’ao Terraced Fields Ploughing Festival, Rape Flower Art Festival, Terrace Landscape Photography Contest and other series of events and festivals, strengthen the promotion of scenic tourism products packaging, and enhance the visibility and reputation of tourism in Ming’ao.

Ming’ao will scientifically lay out the rural tourism industry. Focused on the development of terraced resources, it will develop new business models integrating multiple industries such as ecological and sightseeing agriculture, rural driving tours, photography sketching and mountaineering camping. A cultural and creative bazaar characterized by “Found Music Workshop” and “Photography Base” will attract artists and photography enthusiasts. Meanwhile, efforts will be made to actively cultivate leading agricultural enterprises, grow agricultural business entities, amplify the brand effect of “Ming’ao Terraces”, promote the brand of Ming’ao Local Field Fish and create high value-added agricultural products such as field snails, mud fish and alpine vegetables. To fully tap into the characteristic industry of Ming’ao, the “tea” element will be mobilized to establish the tea trading market and supporting production and processing workshops with Zhangdang Village as the center. Joining forces with Billian Town, Xunzhai Town and Jiekeng Township, innovative new media platforms will be used to promote the brands of regional agricultural products.

In such key places as rural-urban fringe zones, connections of tourist attractions and areas along the main roads, a number of beautiful fields, courtyards, village roads and landscape have been coordinately formed to beautify the whole township. In accordance with the “One Brand for One Village” beautiful countryside development pattern, Ming’ao Township will practice micro-transformation, with each village striving for a “beautiful brand” and farmers for “the most beautiful courtyard”.

Trendy rural carnival with two complexes

In Mingxia Village in the central area of Ming’ao Township, a brand new Ming’ao Township Agricultural-Cultural-Tourism Complex has taken shape. 700 meters away from the terraced fields scenic area of Changtanlong Park, it is invested by Yongjia Tourism Investment Group (YTIG) and constructed by Ming’ao Township. While preserving the basic function of the premise as a cultural exhibition hall, the project extends to an area of more than 200 mu (13.3 ha.) to create an agricultural-cultural-tourism complex that homes a parent-child resort hotel, a cultural display hall, an agricultural products exhibition hall, a tourist reception center etc.

The first phase of the project is a cultural exhibition hall, whose main building and ancillary works have been almost completed. With a total construction area of 6059.23 m2, the first phase of the project has a building height of 17.45 meters, including four floors above ground and one underground. The second phase of the project is about the internal decoration and implantation of the surrounding businesses, which has already started the design after project approval. Relying on the resources and capital advantages of YTIG, it will improve the overall functional layout, highlight the elements of parent-child study tour, nature education and cultural experience, and promote the in-depth integration of agriculture, culture and tourism industries. Oriented at the new tourism modes such as parent-child experience, wellness and holiday and study tour, the project will mould a representative comprehensive agricultural-cultural-tourism project, turning farmland to scenic spots, farm houses to homestays, and labour to sports.

Di’ao Field Complex project is positioned as a field complex that integrates agriculture and tourism. With “rice-and-fish farming” as the main content, the first phase of the project, which kicked off in April 2020, has an area of about 650 mu (43.3 ha.), comprising several sub-projects such as the Rice-and-Fish Farming Sightseeing Park, Purple Sakura Walkway, Cattle Ecological Breeding Area, Anti-corruption Culture Park, Fishing Area and Tourist Distribution Center. The second phase of the project is the Golden-silk Royal Chrysanthemum Industrial Park, which commenced construction in April 2021 and will become an industrial park integrating tourism and sightseeing, cultivation of precious flowers and trees, and study tour of plants. 

At present, the Rice-and-Fish Farming Sightseeing Park, Purple Sakura Walkway, Anti-corruption Culture Park and Fishing Area have almost finished construction, while the preliminary work of the Cattle Ecological Breeding Area and Tourist Information Center is steadily progressing. After the project is completed, it plans to introduce express logistics service stations to sell local products such as local field fish and beef to all parts of the country through fresh cold-chain logistics. Now, Yongjia is striving for a national demonstration area of all-for-one tourism and a pilot of Zhejiang’s Big Garden construction program. To promote the all-for-one tourism is a focus for Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism to carry out the campaign of making 100 cities and 1,000 towns scenic areas.

Located in the Small Nanxi River Basin and in the northwest of Yongjia County, Zhejiang Province, Ming’ao Township boasts sound forest ecology and beautiful idyllic scenery. It has won such honors as the Provincial Health Township, the Provincial Leisure Agriculture and Rural Tourism Demonstration Township, Beautiful Countryside Benchmark Township in Wenzhou etc. Moreover, it was awarded the title of “Terraces Photography Creation Base in China” by China Photographers Association and was the first to obtain the title of “Photography Town” in Wenzhou. Meandering terraces, ethereal and misty mountain tops, as well as profound farming culture, show the idyllic landscape of the Ming’ao Township. In recent years, Ming’ao is constantly exploring the “agricultural tourism +” mode in line with its mountainous characteristics and trying its best to develop rural industrial integration economy. It has generated income for the village collective, increase income for the villagers and lead the whole township towards common prosperity.

Terraces in Ming’ao Township are made up of two parts, the Zhengshan Terraces and the Ming’ao Terraces, which are located in the middle of mountains in Yongjia, 800 meters above sea level, reclaimed by the ancestors in an unyielding spirit for over a thousand years. “The terraces and village houses, the mist and smoke, the colourful haze and silver light, the lines and lumps of colour” speak for the beautiful fields. The activity of “Photograph the Beautiful Countryside in Yongjia” coincides with the rice planting season in Ming’ao, when all the terraced fields are well in order, and put full of water. Those terraces from the top to the foot of the mountains resemble mirrors of different shapes and sizes, bringing unique fun and appeal to photographers.