Text by Zhang Shifu Photographs by Wan Quan
Stepping foot on Guizhou soil can bring the sensation of entering a massive park, rich with natural attractions such as Huangguoshu Waterfall and Fanjing Mountain, not to mention Chinese revolutionary spots including the Site of Zunyi Conference and the place where the Red Army crossed the Chishui River four times. Additionally,Guizhou boasts a broad spectrum of ethnic culture with mysterious features. All these factors make the province “a tourist paradise.”
However, due to its unique climate and geography which are both described in a single local saying —“Don’t expect more than three fine days in a row or more than one mile of flat land” — economic development in the province has lagged far behind others in China. In 2011, Guizhou’s per capita GDP ranked at the bottom. The underdeveloped economy has caused a lack of investment in public facilities for a very long period of time, which has in turn limited development of local tourism.
According to a spokesperson from the Tourism Administration of Guizhou Province (TAG), local tourism is greatly hindered by three major problems:The first is a lack of integrated tourist resources, so the structure of tourist products is imbalanced, causing an inability to satisfy fast growing demand. Secondly,public tourist facilities are underdeveloped. In some important scenic areas, management models are still backward and service quality of tourist enterprises still needs to be improved. Thirdly, they lack updated tourism marketing methods and industry talent.
To promote Guizhou’s economic and social development,in early 2012 the State Council issued a document outlining goals for Guizhou’s tourism industry,namely construction of innovative cultural tourism development areas and transformation of the province into a top destination both domestically and internationally.
The document also noted the goals to develop Huangguoshu Waterfull, Libo County, Fanjing Mountain, Leigong Mountain and several other sites into top tourist spots, while creating tourist programs that integrate folk customs with natural attractions.