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September 25, 2015

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Pudong villagers to open homes to tourists

HUNDREDS of homes in a rural part of the Pudong New Area are to be renovated to make them suitable for use by tourists, an official said yesterday.

Under the scheme, homeowners in Chuansha New Town will rent out their spare rooms to the local government, which will in turn let them to visitors, said Wang Kai, chairman of Shanghai Tourism and Culture Development Co, which is in charge of the scheme.

Twenty households in Chenqiao village have already signed up for the scheme, he said, adding that the total is expected to rise to 500 by the end of next year.

To ensure tourists are provided with an appropriate standard of accommodation, each property will be fully renovated before being made available, Wang said, adding that the works will ensure each home meets the standards set for local hotels in terms of fire safety and hygiene.

“The refurbishments will cost the government about 200,000 yuan (US$31,300) per property,” he told Shanghai Daily in a telephone interview.

The renovation work is set to commence next month, and the first rooms should be available to guests by next spring, he said.

Wang declined to say how much the homeowners will receive under the rental agreement, or how much tourists will be expected to pay for their accommodation.

The development company would appear to be banking on the town’s proximity to the under-construction Shanghai Disney resort, though the theme park is in no way associated with the project.

“We will mainly target family visitors to Shanghai Disney, as well as backpackers from abroad,” Wang said.

While the scheme resembles a homestay arrangement, the actual involvement of the homeowners is unclear. Wang said only that maids would ensure the rooms are kept clean and tidy.

Local man Zhou Weijing, who was among the first batch of property owners to sign up to the scheme, said he is delighted with the idea.

“As well as being paid a monthly rent by the government, the development company will decorate my house free of charge,” he said.

“There are seven rooms in my home, but we only use three of them, so we have four spare,” he said.

“I was even told that I might be able to get a job serving the visitors,” he said.


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