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Vacation mode

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2021-02-13 11:51

Guo replaces a rope for a swing bench at his homestay.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The rural houses usually have scattered components, such as pens for fowls and pigs, so Zhang has connected them all under a big roof. The first floors of the mostly three-story houses there have been turned into spaces for kitchen and entertainment, enabling guests to have continuous connections while enjoying different activities like tea parties. His eight homestays can each accommodate 10 people at a time.

To improve a visitor's experience, Zhang also goes to different food markets to find the right seasonal ingredients. He spends time on making the menu and finding the right cook. He has hired locals, especially people above 40, to work at his homestays.

"Our guests should feel close to the rural residents."

His homestays had drawn many guests from Suzhou and Shanghai before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, people need to make reservations a month ahead, Zhang says, adding that the number of guests are rising slowly but surely.

"The bottom line is we're still seeing profit."

Zhang says someday he would like to expand his business to cover an entire village, where city dwellers can stay for a few days to experience the full rural setting.

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