Foreign media tour China's 'City of Kites'
More than 20 journalists from 11 South Korean and Japanese media agencies took part in a fact-finding trip to Weifang, China's "City of Kites", in Shandong province, on June 26.
The reporters paid a visit to the kite industry base in Wang Jia village and a local kite museum to learn about the development of the kite industry, the related industrial chains and the tourism it creates to the area.
Wang Jia village is known as China's highest flying kite village. More than 2,000 of the 4,400 local residents are involved in the kite-making business, which includes some 60 kite-making factories, producing 80 million kites annually, worth 200 million yuan ($30 million).
A worker makes a kite at a workshop in Wang Jia village. [Photo by Wang Qian/chinadaily.com.cn]
"Our factory can make more than 200,000 kites per year," said Sun Yuemei, the head of Dashan kite-making factory.
She introduced that they are able to design the kites according to customers' individual requirements, such as adding customized illustrations or prints of famous children's cartoon characters.
The Weifang municipal government has made great efforts to seek new economic growth and push for the development of upstream and downstream enterprises of the industry.
Thanks to its kite production, Wang Jia village has been awarded as a provincial characteristic tourism village.
The local authority plans to integrate the village's tourism with the kite business, in the hope of building a recreational holiday zone where tourists can learn kite culture, admire kite-making techniques, fly kites and taste local food.
Amano Sonoko, a journalist from Japanese news agency Mainichi Shimbun, remarked that the huge industry serves to improve the welfare of those in rural communities and is an example of how such areas are able to develop.
Sun Yuemei (R), the head of the Dashan kite-making factory, gives reporters from Japan and South Korea a tour of her factory. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]