Zhou Yunlong, a native of Xijingyu village, in the Jizhou district of Tianjin, is delighted to see that his first-year business revenue from the homestay he runs in his village reached 200,000 yuan ($30,500) amid the pandemic last year.
He chose to quit working in large cities and return to his hometown to start up the homestay businesses in 2019, eyeing the booming tourism sector in his previously secluded and much less known mountainous village.
Zhou said the upgraded expressway, the Tianjin-Jizhou Expressway, as well as the growing expressway network has benefited the village, where a number of homestays in different styles have been opened, attracting visitors from around the country.
The Tianjin-Jizhou Expressway, touted as one of the most beautiful suburban expressways in China, connects the remote rocky and bumpy village more than 100 kilometers from downtown Tianjin.
The village is typical of Jizhou district, which closely neighbors Beijing, but is in fact far from central Tianjin.
During the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday in early April, the district, benefitting from the ever-expanding expressway network, had revenue of 8.3 million yuan, 435 percent higher than last year.
The expressway eventually connects the two areas with the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway, an artery for the country.
In addition, “the whole city’s expressway network is crucial to the steady economic growth for the North China municipality”, said Liu Daogang, director of Tianjin Municipal Transport Commission.
With a total length of 1,330 km, Tianjin ranks No 2 in China in the expressway network density, just after Shanghai, he said.
Another example of the economic takeoff brought by the expressway network linking the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway is the Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu Expressway.
The expressway was the country’s first transport project built to international standards, reaching 11 emerging development areas in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province.
With the Beijing-Tianjin Expressway and the Beijing-Taipei Expressway it has facilitated logistics to North China’s largest port as well as one of the world’s top 10 ports in cargo volume, Tianjin Port.
Last year the port, which connects to about 800 ports in more than 200 countries and regions, logged record container throughput of 18.35 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), up 6.1 percent year-on-year.
Tianjin Port has an ambitious target for handling capacity: It wants to see a rise to 30 million TEUs by 2028.
The expressway logistics play an important role in revenue growth, apart from waterways and trains.
“A three-hour expressway logistics circle in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area is taking shape and will drive solid synergic development in the region,” Liu said.