Games bring hope to hosts

Updated: 2015-08-01 07:25

By Zhang Yu and Wang Wei in Zhangjiakou, Hebei(China Daily)

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Winning the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games means there will be more travelers and skiers in Chongli county, which the locals expect will boost the business of guesthouses.

Liu Chunzhi, a 48-year-old woman of Huangtuzui, in Zhangjiakou's Chongli county, runs a nongjiayuan, or a family-style countryside guesthouse.

Her guesthouse, opened in 2008, is about 4 km from Wanlong Ski Resort in Chongli, which will be a mountain venue for the Winter Games.

Vacationers who come to ski at the resort in winter are regular visitors to Liu's guesthouse.

"A dozen South Korean ski enthusiasts often drove here from Tianjin on winter weekends," Liu said, adding that her house is located in the closest village to the ski resort.

The guests usually arrive at midnight on Fridays because of the six-hour drive they make from Tianjin after work.

"After arriving, they can enjoy my delicious homemade dishes," Liu said, adding that hotels could not make food for them so late.

The normal temperature in Chongli in summer is about 26 C in the daytime, while in neighboring cities like Beijing or Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei, it can reach 36 C or even higher in summer, Liu said.

Liu's guesthouse has 15 rooms, which can accommodate 30 guests at most.

The price for a room ranges from 60 yuan ($10) to 160 yuan at different periods.

"In recent years, I could earn about 100,000 yuan a year, much more than what I made when I was a waitress," she said.

Before she opened the guesthouse seven years ago, Liu was a waitress at Chongli restaurants, where she earned only about 500 yuan a month.

"The ski resort has changed my life," Liu said. "My parents are very satisfied and even proud because they've seen my guesthouse flourishing, and Chongli has become very famous."

She is one among scores of farmers in the county who have opened nongjiayuan after Beijing and Zhangjiakou's bid for Winter Games gained repute for the small county.

Now there are more than 100 guesthouses and 23 prime hotels in Chongli, according to the county's travel and tourism department.

In 2014, 2.01 million visitors came to Chongli, up 27.9 percent from the previous year.

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(China Daily 08/01/2015 page2)