Hangzhou is an international community with a unique homestay service so touristscan experience the daily life and local culture, especially the genuine local people’s residences, eating, sleeping, purchasing, habits and activities.
The government largely supports this program. For example, Shangcheng District introduced a home-stay program for foreigners to spend Spring Festival with Chinese host families. The home-stay program is being initiated by the Hangzhou Brand Management Office and will be tested in Shangcheng District because it is the best place to explore the charms of the old city. The organizer has confirmed the list of the first group of foreign guests, most of which are journalists and writers. They will relate their Hangzhou experiences in their articles, books, photos and videos.
Local families who want to provide home-stay service should have a normal lifestyle without bad habits. They must be able to provide foreign guests with a clean and tidy bedroom with basic household needs and appliances. They should also be able to communicate with their guests in English. Families with certain specialties will be considered first. In accordance with recent experiences, families living in luxury villas, traditional Hangzhou residences will be the first to welcome the Western travelers. This program has been a calling card of Shangcheng District for overseas communications and promotion for inbound tourism.
Many travel agencies represented by Absolute China Tours, CITS Zhejiang and others are supporting this program by extensively promoting this service. Many of the related itineraries they recommend are valuable and are worth a try.