Zhang Li arranges flowers at her guesthouse on Friday. (Photo: China Daily)
Zhang Li quit her job in finance sector in Shanghai and returned to her hometown in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, in 2017. She planned to build a guesthouse in a village with the money and experience she brought back from Shanghai, where the homestay industry was booming.
Two years later, the modern garden-style guesthouse in a begonia yard opened to the public and so far has received thousands of visitors, Zhang said.
"Five of our employees are local villagers," the 48-year-old said, adding that the guesthouse provided closer job opportunities for workers in Haoyuan village.
The guesthouse is able to accommodate 35 tourists at the same time with a construction area of 800 square meters. Homemade rose mead and rooms with a mountain view have attracted many visitors.
"At weekends, all nine rooms are fully booked. During the Labor Day holiday, tourists had to book 15 days in advance," Zhang introduced, adding that the monthly profit of the guesthouse could reach 45,000 yuan ($6,354).
Zhang bought the begonia yard early in 2005. Neighbors helped her look after it when she worked in Shanghai. With infrastructure and environment of Haoyuan improving in recent years, Zhang thought about taking advantage of the emerging tourism in her hometown by establishing a guesthouse.
"People feel passionate while doing something they like, especially for their hometown," Zhang said.
Following Zhang's step, several more guesthouses have been built in the village, which has boosted the local tourism, and offered a high-end vacation site.