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Rural tourism in Xizang booms with peach blossoms
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Rural tourism in Xizang booms with peach blossoms

In early spring, peach blossoms are in full bloom in Kala Village of Nyingchi City, southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region, where the signature peach blossom festival opened in late March, attracting swarms of tourists to the village.

Boasting a vast number of peach trees, mostly wild, across its mountainous terrain, Kala Village is known for its picturesque views of white flower blooms with snow-capped mountains in the background.

The unique landscape has become a cultural and economic symbol of the plateau region. From January to March this year, Nyingchi received nearly 2.31 million tourist visits, with the total tourism income topping 2 billion yuan (about 281.58 million U.S. dollars).

Embracing the peach blossom season, villager Nyima Chokyi, 56, dives into her busy days welcoming tourists as in previous years. The warm-hearted Nyima Chokyi has been known and remembered by many visitors.

"Nyima Chokyi shares the beautiful scenery and interesting stories of her hometown with us, which makes me feel at home," recalled a young tourist, who used to spend nights at Nyima Chokyi's house during the peach blossom festival when bed-and-breakfast (B&B) business had not yet been launched in the village.

Nyima Chokyi has also taken delight in helping lost tourists and elderly people who suffered from altitude sickness.

To better communicate with tourists, Nyima Chokyi has been studying Mandarin since the first peach blossom festival. "I couldn't speak Mandarin before, but now I can communicate well with tourists in Mandarin, even distinguishing their accents," she said.

To make the place more attractive to visitors, Nyima Chokyi and other villagers began to plant peach trees in the wasteland near the village in the past few years to improve the ecological environment. At present, 8,000 peach trees have been planted.

Nyima Chokyi witnessed the huge income brought by the booming flower viewing to the village.

In 1998, villagers earned 2,000 yuan from tourism, while in 2023, Kala Village received over 110,000 tourist visits savoring the peach blossoms, with the revenue for scenic spot tickets and tourists' additional consumption topping 3.41 million yuan.

Over the years, Nyima Chokyi and other villagers have traveled to cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. They integrated what they have learned in the big cities into local tourism, making the village more charming and attractive to tourists.

"Equipped with more experience, I hope to further promote tourism in our village," said Nyima Chokyi. 

Xinhualiu sha

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