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Rui’an Tongpu explores new mode of agricultural tourism integration
Date:2023-03-15 15:53:51 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

Tourists stream into the Fenghuang Cherry Blossom Valley to enjoy the beauty of flowers in spring.

It is the time of spring when flowers bloom, and crowds going on spring outings occupy all the scenic spots, especially the places with “flower roads”, where a sea of tourists can be seen.

The Fenghuang Cherry Blossom Valley in Tongpu Town, Rui’an City is such a “floral world” — these days the new project of the local 1,300 mu (214 acres) cherry blossom garden can attract more than 10,000 tourists per day.

On March 5, Sunday, all the way up the mountain, tourists from multiple places came in an endless stream. According to the project manager, the Valley has received 300,000 tourists since it was opened on January 18. As its many supporting facilities are in the process of improvement, the Valley is still under “trial opening”. The enthusiasm of tourists makes the project been prospective and strengthens the confidence in running the project.

It is about 50 minutes’ drive from downtown area of Wenzhou to Tongpu Town, Rui’an. It can be said that the Valley which gets “popular” is taking the advantage of the short distance, but another reason is that the “gradient distribution” of different varieties of cherry blossom trees in the Valley “breaks the restriction of florescence and seizes the market opportunity.” Xu Huimin, mayor of Tongpu Town, said that the Valley had introduced more than 10 varieties of flowering cherry trees. The “New Year’s Day Cherry” blooms earliest, compared with cherry trees of other places. Through various combinations of early, middle and late flowering phases, hundreds of acres of cherry blossoms gradually come out from the foot to the top of the mountain, and the flowering period can be as long as three to four months.

The Cherry Blossom Valley project is a major business attraction and investment introduction project of Rui’an. One of the investors, Sha Chunchun, said that her partner had studied the cultivation and breeding of multiple varieties of cherry blossom trees for nearly 10 years. Three years ago, a large number of cherry saplings were produced in the base in Longquan, Lishui, and to transplant those saplings was in urgent need. Looking for a place for transplantation, they came to Tongpu for investigation twice after being recommended by a local wise man. It was not until they had really “cut through the thorns” to get into the mountain that they found it was a suitable place. The loess is suitable for the growth of saplings. The survival rate of transplanting the 14,000 saplings in three years was originally expected to be 80%, but finally reached 99.5%. “The transportation here is convenient, and at the top of the mountain, the scenery of the Feiyun River can be seen. These are the innate advantages of cultural tourism development.”

On March 5, the Cherry Blossom Valley was bustling, attracting a lot of people, who take accents of Sichuan, Hunan, Anhui and other places, including three-month-old babies and old people with grey hair. Xu said that the spring of Tongpu had been represented by only one type of flower — the rape flower, and there was finally another type. Relatively speaking, the plantation of rape flower, funded by the government, mattered rather politically than economically, while the Valley had a visible boosting effect once it was launched. The most direct manifestation is that more than 200 jobs have been created and the income of the village collectives has increased by more than one million yuan. A large number of tourists were attracted to come to admire the cherry blossoms, which greatly challenged the tourist service and reception capacity of local villages, Xu said. Since the construction of the project, the local authority has taken into account the problem of parking difficulties and built two parking lots at the foot of the mountain, which can provide about 500 parking spaces for tourists. The scenic spot is also equipped with six shuttle buses for tourists to go up and down the mountain.

Of course, the biggest benefit of the Valley after its popularity is to generate profits for local village collectives and villagers. The project involves the land transfer of four villages, including Tongpu, Pudong and Puxi. The total transfer of woodland is about 1,500 mu (247 acres). At 300 yuan per mu, the village collectives can obtain a rent of 450,000 yuan. A parking lot for the Valley is built in Tongpu Village by using its idle collective land. “The parking fee belongs to the village collective who invests in the construction of the parking lot, and the income is quite considerable,” said Sun Jianfeng, secretary of the village communist party branch.

At the parking lot, Zheng Xiewang, a villager of Tongpu Village, who was originally making a living only by farming, said joyfully, “it is the slack season of farming now, and managing the parking lot can increase my income by four to five thousand yuan per month.” Since the project was initiated, Tongpu Town has required that the priority should be given to local low-income farmers, for recruiting workers to engage in management, cleaning, seedling maintenance and other types of work in the Valley. Currently, more than 100 jobs have been offered to low-income groups, with an average annual income of 60,000 to 70,000 yuan per person.

Yang Lianmin, a villager of Wulian Village, has opened an agritainment restaurant near the Valley. Recently, more than 20 tables of foods can be provided for the tourists, and eight to ten tables are “newly increased”. There are five or six similar restaurants surrounding the Valley. Local villagers also take out their own agricultural products and sell them on the roadside, and nearly 100m of stalls can be found at the foot of the mountain.

The implementation of the project has also created a demonstration effect. “After transformation and improvement, an ordinary mountain can become a famous scenic spot. Our village can also make it.” Qian Rencheng, secretary of the general communist party branch of the surrounding Shengfeng Village, said that they have started to select a site to develop a “flower and fruit mountain” of gannan navel orange, so that the “orange flowers and fruits” can enrich the villagers. Tongpu Town, with the full protection of farmers’ rights and interests, guides more local wise men and villagers to participate in the efficient ecological agricultural industry.

“The income of a village collective increased by one project has reached the provincial standard for the common prosperity villages.” According to the relevant government administrator of Rui’an, the Tongpu Cherry Blossom Valley project has become the specific practice of Rui’an’s innovative integration of agriculture and tourism and the realization of “one village with one type of flower” and “one village with one type of specialty”, providing replicable experience for the construction of peaceful and beautiful villages and effectively helping the rural revitalization in the context of common prosperity.