|Nov. 20, 2017 -- Editor's note: The Sichuan-Tibet Plateau, a beautiful region that reaches toward the heavens, is a place showered with blue skies, covered in white clouds, and dotted with snow-covered mountains, but recently, something truly remarkable has been materializing among the households that call this place home. A groundbreaking historic change has been reshaping the land and its people. From today on, we will publish a series of stories to tell you those changes.
Home to one of the most important ecotourism locations on the plateau, Zoige County is well known to people both far and near, but issues with water have made it severely difficult for any tertiary industry to be developed there. Today, though, the situation has changed for the better due to the recent project.
"This project is a godsend. My hotel is now packed with guests, with tourist shortages no longer being a problem like before," said Mr. Ma, general manager of the Zoige Grand Hotel and someone who never fails to give a big thumbs-up when talking about his appreciation for what has taken place. He always used to worry about water in the past, especially during the tourist season. Upon hearing that water could only be supplied three times a day, a great many guests would turn their backs in disappointment.
Li is a tourist who just arrived at the hotel and is ready to have his meal in the hotel restaurant. He runs a business in Chengdu, so Zoige Prairie is an ideal destination for him and his business partners. In times past, he would try to bring his guests here, but the desperate shortage of water forced him to leave in embarrassment. His ventures out to the prairie would only last a short while, and Sungchu would be the only reliable place to stay at night.
"Now that there's clear, safe, and plentiful water, tourists coming to Zoige Prairie are not only able to enjoy the charming grassland. Local delicacies have also become an extremely attractive option, and locals themselves have become more motivated to work on further developing tourist facilities!" says Xiao Ga, director of the Zoige County Tourism Bureau. According to bureau statistics, after only one month, the number of people flooding the area's hotel rooms and restaurant facilities has exploded to three times its normal amount, and with the newly renovated infrastructure, more and more visitors are starting to flock to the charming land. In 2012, the local tourism industry earned 890 million yuan, but in 2016, this figure skyrocketed to 1.598 billion, an increase of 79.5%!
Zoige County will most definitely be something to keep tabs on over the coming years, now that nothing is holding guests back from coming to see the beautiful intersection between Sichuan and Gansu.
The Chinese version of this story is written by Luo Xiaomin and translated into English by Huang Wenjuan. And the story is sourced from the United Front Work Deparment of the Communist Party of China (CPC)Sichuan Provincial Committee.
Editor: Ana Wu