Historical village in Fujian develops carp tourism to promote development

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Aerial photo shows villagers demonstrating a funeral ritual for deceased carp in Puyuan Village, Puyuan Township, Zhouning County, southeast China’s Fujian Province, July 4, 2020. At the first glance, Puyuan Village appears no difference from other historical villages in China. But it’s the carp fish in a local creek, known as the Carp Brook, that make the village special. Puyuan village covers an area of 9.2 square kilometers and has a population of about 6,200. Originated from the Ziyun Mountain, several streams converge into the 3,000-meter-long Carp Brook, with 800 meters of it flowing through the village. For over eight centuries, Puyuan residents have lived in harmony with the carp ever since their ancestors settled down in the village. Rules were made to protect the carp as well as to keep the brook water clean. Some villagers still prepare funeral rituals and burial places for deceased carp. Although this carp-loving tradition began to reel in tourists as early as the 1980s, it was not until 2016 that Zhouning County authorities officially made carp tourism a key element in local plans to promote tourism-based development. So far, the county government has invested 150 million yuan (about 21.46 million U.S. dollars) to improve the ecology and tourism amenities within Puyuan’s Carp Brook scenic area. While carp viewing remains the main tourist attraction in Puyuan, activities which derive from the village’s carp culture are also available for visitors. Many villagers have become business owners and profited from the tourism industry. In 2019, more than 600,000 tourists have visited the Carp Brook scenic area, bringing in 304 million yuan (about 43.47 million U.S. dollars) in tourism revenue. (Xinhua/Jiang Kehong)

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