Policy Assessment: A Case Study of Rural Tourism, Recreation and Leisure Development in Suburb of Chengdu, China

By He, Ge; Chen, Minghong | Studies in Sociology of Science, June 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Policy Assessment: A Case Study of Rural Tourism, Recreation and Leisure Development in Suburb of Chengdu, China


He, Ge, Chen, Minghong, Studies in Sociology of Science


INTRODUCTION

China economy rapid growth leads to a dual-structure of society. There are large prosperous cities meanwhile poor and underdeveloped rural areas. Urban people have more wealth to spend in tourism, recreation and leisure, while the peasants want to make money. In order to minimize the distance between the urban and rural areas, the central government launched rural tourism to encourage the urban people to consume in rural areas when the National Tourism Bureau made the theme of tourism of that year as "touring in countryside around China" in 1998 (Jiang & Zhang, 2006). In late 1990s and early 2000s, many local governments around China, as well as Chengdu city, encouraged the development of rural tourism with different models. In this essay, we are going to illustrate the development of the rural tourism, recreation and leisure in a suburban area of Chengdu City, assess its implement and give rationales to its development.

1. A BRIEF INTRODUCTORY

1.1 A Brief Introductory of Chengdu City

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, has a population of 14 million, with a history of more than 2300 years (GOCa, 2009), has always been the economic center of the southwest of China. In Song Dynasty, the first paper currency in the world, "Jiaozi", was invented in Chengdu (GOCa, 2009). Because of the prosperity in the long history, people in Chengdu have different ideology of life. The leisure culture is part of the culture of Chengdu. Chengdu is famous all over China for its cuisine, hotpot, Sichuan snacks, tea and Majiang culture. The leisure culture, the large population, the national wide famous cuisine are good foundation to develop rural tourism in the suburban areas around Chengdu.

1.2 A Brief Introductory of Sansheng Huaxiang

Sansheng Huaxiang is a rural tourism site located in Sansheng Town, named with the Sansheng temple where there are three Ancient Saints worshiped. It is alongside one national road, about 20 km away from the city center of Chengdu.

Sansheng Huaxiang is a collective name for five scenery sites including "Chrysanthemum Garden at the Eastern Fence", "Moonlight at the Lotus Pond", "Vegetables Field of Jiang's family", "Happy Plum Forest" and "Farmhouses in Country of Flowers" in that area. Huaxiang in Chinese means the country of flowers, which means a beautiful place. These sites have different scenery features from each other. They attracts tourist at all seasons. At the Farmhouses in Country of Flowers, there are many pot-flowers for sell for all seasons in different green houses. Moonlight at the Lotus Pond, you can enjoy the lotus in summer. Chrysanthemum Garden at the Eastern Fence, you can enjoy and buy different flowers of chrysanthemum in autumn. Happy Plum Forest, you can enjoy and buy plum flowers in winter. Vegetable Field of Jiang's Family, you can rent a plot of field and grow vegetable you like.

For Chengdu people, the most important thing in Sansheng Huaxiang is that you can have delicious dishes with farmhouse flavor, and you can have tea and play games with family members and friends at the "Happy Farmhouses" at all the scenery sites.

2. THE RURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT OF SANSHENG HUAXIANG WITH THE SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY

2.1 The Background of the Policy to Encourage Rural Tourism, Leisure and Recreation in Sansheng Huaxiang

The development of the rural tourism, leisure and recreation in Sansheng Huaxiang has an obvious government leading feature. Local government launched the policy because of the following backgrounds.

2.1.1 The First Flower Expo of Sichuan Province was Hold Here in 2003

The expo was very successful and attracted a large number of tourists. In the first week, about 1.2 million tourists visited the expo (Yan, 2008). In order to hold the expo, a few big flower companies were moved to the area with the incentive of policy. A big flower market was established permanently there.

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