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Art tourism paints a bright future

By Li Hongyang and Hu Meidong in Sanming, Fujian | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-11-27 14:27

Taining county in Fujian province is increasing tourism revenue by touting its unique landforms and architecture as subjects for visiting art teachers and students.

From 2016 till last year, about 200,000 art students and teachers from across China — including Peking University in Beijing and the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province — have traveled to the county, generating good income for villagers who provide them with lodgings, according to the local government.

Xiao Yaozhong owns multiple homestays that mainly accommodate art school students. He charges 80 yuan ($12) per day and his homestays can hold about 220 students who usually stay for a week.

"I began the business in April 2019, because I sensed the business chance," Xiao said.

"Danxia landforms, characterized by red sandstones and steep cliffs, as well as well-preserved architecture in the county dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), are suitable for students to sketch."

Annual income of residents rose from 15,700 yuan in 2018 to 17,300 yuan last year, the local government said.

Huang Liangjun, the painting program agent for the county, said that outstanding paintings by students are bought by the government and displayed in exhibitions to promote the area's tourism and culture.

The local government hired Huang to get art educators to teach their students landscape painting in the county.

Huang graduated from Nanchang Normal University in Jiangxi province with an arts and crafts major, and knows a number of former classmates who teach in art schools.

"Outdoor art classes require more than a scenic spot," he said. "A place that holds these classes needs to have historic buildings and beautiful mountains and water. Taining has them all, and is a good place to develop my career as an agent."

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