Jiang Haiyan: Nature Is the Best Listener
Before arriving in Hainan, I worked as a journalist at Ningxia Radio Station. My previous job wasn’t too taxing, so I had time to think. When I heard that Hainan wanted to build a special economic zone, I set off for the island with a few friends after minimal discussions, and here we are.
After completing an English degree, in January 1989, I was recruited into the Department of World Economy of Hainan Daily and served as a columnist for “World Who’s Who.” Eventually, I was directly involved in helping establish the overseas edition of the newspaper.
I have witnessed the great changes in Hainan over the last few years since China’s reform and opening up.
Based on my technical title at that time, my salary in Ningxia was barely over 100 yuan a month. After arriving in Hainan, I saw my salary rise to over 400 yuan and then to over 1,000 yuan, which greatly inspired my enthusiasm for the work.
During my years in Hainan, I also witnessed the island province’s development process from start to finish.
In those days, Hainan Daily had gathered talent from across the country. Everyone seemed happy: “This is exactly what we want!”
In 1993, I left Hainan Daily for China HNA Group, the first joint-stock airline to undergo a standardized transformation in China, which was establishing a newspaper, Business Travel News. They recruited me to serve as deputy editor-in-chief.
In 1994, I quit my job there to accompany my child to the United States to study. When my child enrolled in college, I returned to Hainan just as they were looking for people to promote Sanya’s Nanshan Scenic Area. I was happy to shift to the tourism industry and became responsible for planning and promotion.
Hainan is richly endowed with tourism resources but still needs new ideas and concepts for development. Sanya Paddy Field National Park has a distinct theme and prominent features. The time is ripe to seize this historical opportunity to merge current development with rural revitalization—integrating rural and tourism resources through a brand-new approach: agricultural tourism.
Rural development can be kindled not only through the integration of rural and tourism resources, but also through the creation of tourism brands. We must consider how to transform farming culture, popular science education and agricultural experience into tourism products that enable tourists to learn more about culture during their trips and enhance their awareness of our brand. This creates new demands and challenges on our work.
Today, Hainan is striving to become an international tourism island. Actually, the hardware of scenic spots in Hainan, especially around Sanya, already leads the international arena. Therefore, we need to think about where we can focus in comparison to world-class scenic spots.
Contrasting high-tech theme parks such as Disney resorts, Hainan’s greatest resource is its ecology.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed, “We will adopt a holistic approach to conserve our mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes and grasslands.” Tourism cannot develop at the cost of the ecology. Sustainable development can be achieved if ecological protection is a top priority. Therefore, we must adhere to regional ecological standards and develop in ways that protect the agricultural ecology. .
Sanya Paddy Field National Park endeavors to provide visitors an experience involving the beauty of farmland and traditional Chinese agriculture throughout the entire trip: showing them mountains, letting them touch the fields and flowers, taking them to pick fruits, and sending them home with unforgettable nostalgia.
Our scenic area has just opened. There are many things to do throughout its sectors, including construction of comprehensive support systems, improvement of service concepts, and introduction of intelligent systems.
Decades of experience have taught me that building a scenic spot is an arduous task, but one that can bring benefits to the whole of society and future generations. I believe that our park will pave a path for sustainable development that integrates agriculture and tourism.
I have been to many places, but the most impressive is the green mountains of Hainan.
Thanks to my work on tourism, I have had the opportunity to get intimate with the ocean and talk with the mountains and streams. Coming back was the best choice of my life. When we begin to converse with nature, our mentality changes, and we no longer become anxious over life’s trivialities.
I have lived in Hainan for nearly 30 years: It is my home. At home, I feel calm and relaxed.