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Homestay Project for 2017 Jinhua Development Conference
Post Time: 12/09/2017

          The opening of the sixth session of the Jinhua Homestay is an impressive reminder that the project has been held five times over a span of just over two years, recording the presence of 199 participants from 33 countries in Jinhua's historical villages. In these villages, the participants of the JH learned about the Jinhua Story, appreciated the affection shown by their hosts, collected memories that will stay with them throughout their lives, left with the desire to return, and became a group of international ambassadors of Jinhua.

The sixth session – which will take place in the village of Shangjing, Tangxi Town – will begin a new, innovative chapter in the Jinhua Story, a story that has and will continue to contribute to the development and growth of Jinhua in 2017. Two years ago, few had ever heard of villages such Suoyuan, Siping, Yuyuan, and Zhiyan. But in June 2015, the JH was launched, holding its first session in Suoyuan, Jindong District. Since that point, the project has brought renown to Jinhua's historical villages, especially those that served as centers for the project's sessions.

       A number of international institutions and cities around the world have expressed their interest in and support of the project. The South African city of Buffalo – a sister city of Jinhua – holds a special competition in order to select the college students who will take part in the JH; the consulate general of Lao in Shanghai personally wrote a letter to the Laotian project's applicants; Professor Peter K. Bol, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning at Harvard University, personally recommended the project; the Swiss Consulate General in Shanghai posted to relevant information about the JH on the consulate’s website. The project also resulted in the formation of a substantial and multinational class of “friendly ambassadors of Jinhua” who are spreading the name and story of Jinhua around the world. It is not an exaggeration to claim that Jinhua now has friends all over the world or that its villages can count their “children” in many countries.

       Such a movement has greatly benefitted both the organization and its plans for the launch of the Jinhua Development Conference, which will be held in November 2017. Themed “Share Jinhua's Opportunities to Build the Future of Mid-Zhejiang,” the conference aims to implement the spirit of the provincial and municipal Party Congress, emphasize the importance of the “four major provinces,” accelerate the realization of the “two high levels” social reforms, enhance the value of Jinhua's talents, further promote the Zhejiang (Jinhua) Round-Trip Investment projects, and stimulate entrepreneurship among members of the public. All of these measures are important starting points for innovation.

       Zhang Hong, director of Jinhua's FAO, said that the JH is directly connected to the development conference. The project introduced the unique feature of homestay in historical villages, the Home Plus mode. Without altering the way villagers live in their houses, Home Plus helps the locals to make use of unused spaces and resources to provide guests with a distinct understanding of historical villages and traditional rural life in Jinhua. Services offered combine a familiar context with standardized accommodations (Home Plus Accommodations), organic food (Home Plus Meals), and visits to local sightseeing sites (Home Plus Activities).

       Xu Shufang, deputy director Jinhua's FAO Human Resources and Secretary Department, declared that the sixth session of the JH set a new record for the number of participants, 48, confirming that the project is being followed and appreciated on a bigger scale throughout the world. Additionally, a new feature of the sixth session is the first International Fairy Tales Trail: a team of specialists from Germany will lead participants in the construction of an outdoor adventure trail in the village of Shangjing. The plans for this project include building an “international garden” on one of the ancient sites of the village. Themed “World of Fairy Tales and Legends,” the garden will provide visitors with a unique experience, combining fairy tales and cultural experiences from all over the world with interactive, sensorial elements.

       The Shangjing session of the JH will also be a journey through industry and commerce. Apart from international students, the participants will consist of a number of people with managerial expertise in various industrial fields. They will bring about new ideas and projects to enhance the development of Jinhua's local industries, acting not only as cultural ambassadors, but as active participants in the expansion and growth of local economy.

       “This time the project will be covered by the Yellow River TV Station and Zhejiang TV World, which are planning to shoot relevant documentaries and promotional videos to be broadcasted in over 150 countries,” Mrs. Xu said. (By Wu Qian – Jinhua Daily, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Xiamara Hohman)

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