Sichuan: Rebuild Lives Through Tourism Plan
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Officials in Beichuan county, Sichuan Province, are most concerned with restoring livelihoods.
Shengli village in Leigu town has become the country's biggest resettlement area for earthquake survivors. With plank houses occupying farms in some 30 villages, planting crops no longer offers a feasible source of income for the locals.
"Once we've are done with building houses, we should focus on tourism ," says village head Xi Shuyou.
Xi used to run businesses in water, construction and medicinal herbs. When the quake struck, he cooked the rice stored in his home for the desperate survivors.
When President Hu Jintao visited the village on May 16 last year, local officials chose Xi to be their spokesperson and later decided to make him their leader.
Xi says for centuries the Qiang people have neglected their traditions. "We must now seize this rare opportunity to develop our folk culture," he says .
Last September, he invited Wang Guanquan to teach locals traditional Qiang songs and dances. Xi was surprised at the enthusiastic response and noticed how the singing and dancing were providing an emotional outlet.(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2009)