JINAN, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Liu Guolin never worried about the absence of customers at his farmhouse.
He runs a restaurant in the Liujihou Village in the city of Dongying, east China's Shandong Province. A grassroots branch of the Communist Party of China was set up in Liujihou in 1925 -- one of the four oldest Party branches in the rural areas of the province.
The historic site of the Party branch, next to Liu's restaurant, welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year.
More than a decade ago, Liu and his fellow villagers still lived in adobe houses and led a life of poverty, which weighed heavily on the minds of the village cadres. In 2003, they committed to developing the local tourism industry based on the site, according to Liu Hongyan, Party chief of Liujihou.
Capitalizing on its "red genes," the village gradually became a well-known tourist destination. In 2005, a memorial hall commemorating the history of the site was established in the village. Five years later, the villagers also set up a tourism development company.
In 2008, Liu returned to his village to rebuild his old house and opened a restaurant with the 50,000 yuan (about 7,600 U.S. dollars) he had saved from working outside the village. His income soon surpassed his old salary as a migrant worker, so he decided to stay in his hometown.
"Now our life is sweeter than honey," said Liu.
In addition, the village developed a floral industry in 2009, as a further measure to shake off poverty.
In 2019, the collective income of the village reached 420,000 yuan, five times that of a decade ago, and the per capita disposable income of the villagers reached 21,000 yuan.
In China, there are many villages like Liujihou making great efforts to capitalize on their red roots while developing diversified industries, all with the aim of improving the lives of local residents.
As a village steeped in revolutionary history, Zhu Village in the city of Linyi in Shandong built the first village-level archives in the province in 2012, with a collection of more than 7,000 items, and set up several revolutionary memorials to pass on its "red genes."
To increase their earnings, the villagers continuously developed and modernized the local agricultural sector, attracting visitors with picking, sightseeing and fishing activities.
Meanwhile, an agricultural enterprise was introduced to provide the villagers with wicker product design, proofing and sales services, allowing a large number of locals to make a living by weaving wicker goods at home.
In 2019, the per capita disposable income in Zhu Village was 17,900 yuan, higher than the provincial rural average and 1.6 times that of 2013.
Now, instead of worrying about food and clothing, the villagers are turning their thoughts toward building a brighter future.
Wang Xiaolin, a 30-year-old from the city of Liaocheng in Shandong, joined a tourism company in Zhu Village, the hometown of her husband, in September. She said they plan to put down roots here given the village's great development potential.
"The development here is plain to see, and it is only natural that we should return to the village," Wang said. Enditem