Villagers enriched by heritage tours

The scenic Mt. Laojun in Lijiang is part of the Three Parallel Rivers heritage site in northwest Yunnan. Huang Wenwu, Party chief of Liming village near Laojun, was eager to tell how to enrich local folks with rural tourism.


“We villagers used to fell trees for firewood and Laojun’s ecology suffered a lot,” said Huang, adding the mountains near his home were almost bare one when he was 15 or 16 years old.

Luckily, the felling activity was stopped by later effort to apply for the world heritage status in the three parallel rivers.

The Three Parallel Rivers refer to the peculiar landscape formed by the rivers Jinsha, Lancang and Nujiang. It was listed as a World Natural Heritage in 2003.


In 2009, the OCT World Expo Tourist Group joined hands in running the Laojun scenic area, creating a poverty-alleviation mode where villagers’ income was increased and the ecology damage was minimized.

Based on the development mode, the facilities for eco-protection were built up, and part of the tourism revenues went to the villagers. The Liming scenic area also offered job opportunities to local folks, whose produces were purchased by the rural tourism cooperative at good prices.

“The best conservation for a heritage site should be realized in sensible development, where locals’ wellbeing is improved and they are willing to protect the natural without any strings attached.” Huang said the villagers now use solar energy and electric oven for hearting, instead of logs for fire.



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