Hainan uses homesharing to rejuvenate village tourism

Village in Hainan's Qiongzhong Li and Miao Autonomous County

Hainan Tourism Development Commission has teamed up with Xiaozhu.com to leverage the rise of homesharing and develop rural tourism, including through establishing a Hainan Tourism B&B Association.

Wang Liantao, co-founder and COO of Xiaozhu.com, has been named president of the new association, while the commission will play a supervisory role. The association aims to regulate the development of the B&B industry in Hainan, establish a mechanism for police-citizen interaction, solve problems in B&B operations, improve the industry’s service level and drive competition.

Village in Hainan’s Qiongzhong Li and Miao Autonomous County

The agreement will also see the partners jointly promote villages in Hainan, build village B&B accommodation for poverty alleviation, and establish a B&B industry association.

The development comes as village homesharing becomes increasingly seen as a driver of village rejuvenation. According to a data report Xiaozhu released earlier this month, the platform now has over 30,000 village B&Bs. Each village B&B creates six local jobs on average, it said.

Stressing the importance of developing village tourism, Ao Liyong, deputy director of Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission, shared that there are about 516 rural tourist sites across the island, bringing about 1.75 billion yuan (US$256.7 million) in revenue in the first half of this year, up 14.2 per cent year-on-year.

Zhang Xinhong, chief information officer of the State Information Center, added that the sharing economy has created a historic opportunity for China’s economic development, breaking geographical boundaries to connect resources in villages and cities.

In 2018, Chinese sharing economy companies markedly increased their competitiveness globally, and both central and local policies provided unprecedented support to the sharing economy, playing a positive role in leading innovation and poverty alleviation, according to a statement.

Meanwhile, Xiaozhu plans to build a hands-on classroom for homesharing entrepreneurship in Hainan’s villages, providing better solutions for B&B entrepreneurs and operators.

The Chinese homesharing platform has over 420,000 house listings in 652 cities across the world and over 35 million active users. In the first half of 2018, Xiaozhu reached strategic collaboration with Fliggy, the tourism brand of Alibaba Group, and agoda.

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