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By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-24 08:40

Jiuzhaigou has spectacularly recovered from the 2017 earthquake, thanks to the continuous efforts of local authorities and experts. The forest exhibits its majestic seasonal hues.

Like him, many avid bird-watchers take Jiuzhaigou, literally meaning "nine-village valley", in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture in Sichuan, as a must-visit destination to observe endemic species of birds in China.

In 1992, Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List because it met the criterion of "containing superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance".

The national park has scenic and aesthetic appeal, with a landscape of clear lakes, waterfalls and karst formations, as well as jagged alpine peaks.

Tourism has become the pillar industry in the area, benefiting local Tibetan villagers while attracting large numbers of visitors annually.

"The development of the region is based on protection (of the park). Our principle is issue-oriented — to adjust protective measures timely to solve problems," says Du Jie, deputy head of the Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area Administration.

In 2001, the administration regulated that tourists had to stay overnight outside the scenic area, closing homestays and restaurants.

In the meantime, it implemented policies to increase incomes of locals, such as offering them job opportunities in the scenic area. While the administration is the majority shareholder, with 51 percent stake in the company that manages the scenic area, local villagers can become shareholders of the remaining 49 percent stake. They can collectively receive an annual dividend of 77 percent of the profit if they have stakes in the company.

The "most common uncivilized tourist behavior" in Jiuzhaigou is to trek to unopened peaks, enter the water or feed fish, according to Du. To promote civilized tourism, activities on ecology protection are regularly organized at the scenic area, and tour guides always explain the do's and don'ts to visitors.

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